PM Seeks Consensus For Constitution Amendment

Kathmandu, May 27: Prime Minister K P Oli has urged top leaders of all political parties represented in the parliament to unanimously endorse the constitution amendment bill that recognizes the government’s decision to include Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura as Nepali territory.

During an all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister Oli at his official residence in Baluwatar on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Oli asked all parties to help unanimously endorse the bill in order to give a message of national unity.

According to Prime Minister’s Press Advisor Surya Thapa, Prime Minister Oli stressed on the need to endorse the constitution amendment bill with urgency as they require to change the map included in the schedule 3 of the constitution as per the new map endorsed by the cabinet. He also stressed on the fact that talks and diplomacy were the only way to resolve the border issues with India.

The main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), has asked the government to wait until their Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting takes a decision to this effect. “Nepali Congress has said that it has to first endorse this decision through the Central Working Committee. So, we are currently waiting for NC’s decision,” said Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali. Talking to media persons after the meeting, NC leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula said NC is with the government on boundary issues. He said that NC would take decision to this effect through the party’s CWC meeting. Sitaula said that NC had earlier asked the government to issue a new political map after taking a decision through the CWC meeting.

Earlier on Friday, Law Minister Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe had registered a constitution amendment bill after the government introduced a new political map that includes Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura.

The amendment bill is set to be presented before the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting on Wednesday for discussion and endorse it through a minimum two-third majority vote in the parliament. The government plans to endorse the amendment bill within a week after it is presented in the House meeting.

The amendment bill seeks to amend a political map of Nepal included in the schedule 3 of the constitution. New map will be used in all official documents including in the coat of arms after the amendment bill is endorsed through the parliament.

Earlier, House Speaker Agni Sapkota had held a meeting on the issue during the parliament’s Business Advisory Committee meeting. Speaker Sapkota had urged the government to forge national consensus among all political parties before the amendment bill is introduced in the parliament.

The all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister Oli was an attempt to forge national consensus on the issue. Although Madhes-based political parties have demanded the government to introduce a separate amendment proposal to address their grievances in the constitution along with the amendment proposal to change Nepal’s political map, they have not stood against the amendment proposal.

Republica

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