Citizenship Bill Requires Political Consensus: Minister Thapa

Kathmandu, June 18: Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ Wednesday said that the pending citizenship bill required a political and parliamentary consensus before its endorsement from the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the parliament.
Speaking at a meeting of the committee, Home Minister Thapa sought additional time from the Committee for its endorsement.
The bill has been pending in the Committee for the past two years.
“The bill must be given a final nod from the Committee upon the consensus of the government and parliamentarians from the main opposition and other parties,” the Home Minister said.
“I think there is no need to hold more discussion on the bill at the Committee, because some of the contentious issues must be resolved through the government initiative and political approach,” Home Minister Thapa said.

Speaking at the meeting, Nepali Congress leader and member of the Committee Dilendra Prasad Badu said that the NC held a view and a kind of understanding among the party leaders that naturalised citizenship could be issued to the women married to Nepal citizens seven years after their marriage.
Nepal Communist Party leader and member of the Committee Janardan Sharma said that it would be meaningless to discuss the bill further in the Committee but it should rather be forwarded to the government for a decision.
President of the Committee Shashi Shrestha asked for solutions from the members of the Committee to conclude deliberations on the bill.
Another lawmaker Jhapat Rawal said that now the bill must be forwarded to HoR for endorsement after the political parties agreed on some contentious issues.
The bill has been in the Committee since mid-July, 2018 without consensus about what should be done.

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