Parties agree to seek package deal
Kathmandu, Dec. 20: A meeting of the top leaders of the three major political parties, held to end the current deadlock in the parliament, ended inconclusively Monday.
The meeting, called by Speaker Onsari Gharti, yielded no concrete outcome after the leaders of the three parties reiterated their earlier stances on the constitution amendment bill.
They, however, agreed to find a solution to the political deadlock, triggered by the amendment bill registered by the government in the parliament, within the next two days through dialogue.
During the meeting, leaders of the three parties had presented their parties’ views on constitution amendment, the impeachment motion and the three-tier elections.
On the occasion, leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre had urged the CPN-UML leaders to create an atmosphere conducive for tabling the amendment bill by allowing the parliament to run smoothly.
Responding to their requests, the UML leaders said that they would continue to disrupt the House until the government withdrew the bill.
Following the meeting, NC senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel said that the meeting mulled over a package deal comprising the issues of constitution amendment, the impeachment motion and holding elections.
Poudel further said that they did not take any decision on withdrawing the amendment bill or putting it on hold.
Stating that the top leaders agreed to continue their talks to seek a package deal, he said that they would again sit for talks after holding their intra-party meetings.
Similarly, UML vice-chair Bamdev Gautam said that his party would not let the House function until the amendment bill was withdrawn.
“The amendment bill was registered by going against the constitutional provisions. We will continue with the House obstruction until the bill is withdrawn,” Gautam added.
However, Maoist Centre leader and Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara added that the three parties were positive about seeking a package deal within two days.
“We reached an understanding
to sort out the disputed issues through a package deal within two days,” Mahara said.
He further said that the government would table the amendment bill and the bills on the elections at the same time.
The UML, along with seven fringe parties, has been obstructing the House proceedings after the government registered the amendment bill in parliament on November 29.
Besides Poudel, Gautam and Mahara, Prime Minister and Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba and UML chairman KP Sharma Oli were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, RSS adds: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ajay Shankar Nayak, has said the political parties were doing home work to seek consensus through a package deal on election-related bill, impeachment, and constitution amendment.
During a press meet organized by the Reporters’ Club here on Monday, Minister Nayak said, “Government is making utmost efforts to make a package deal to bring the major opposition CPN-UML and others on consensus for the resolution of the current problems.”
According to him, a proposal on package deal would be presented at the Legislature-Parliament meeting, which would help create the atmosphere conducive for election. “I hope even the UML will play a constructive role to clear political impasse,” he added.
CPN-UML leader Som Prasad Pandey accused the government of bringing the constitution amendment proposal to jeopardize the relations between hills and plains. It is quite unconstitutional to change the boundary of the provinces, he argued.
Leader of Madhesi Front Jitendra Sonal said the major opposition must not obstruct constitution amendment process. Once the constitution is amended, it would be easy for amendment, he stressed.
Naya Shakti Nepal’s leader Hishila Yami said the constitution amendment bill must be forwarded. Some parts of Morang and Sunsari should be hived off from province no 1 and be shunted into province no 2, she suggested.