Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has assured top leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal of a discussion on amending the constitution adopted three years ago.
RJP-N leaders said the prime minister told them in a recent meeting that he would discuss charter revision in another meeting as he was busy with issues related to unification of the two communist parties.
The Madhes-based parties, including the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal which waged a long movement demanding constitutional amendments, have renewed their call. The two parties also voted for the communist government and want to join it after the constitution is amended. PM Oli, who maintained a tough stance on statute revision, says it can happen based on the need and significance. “We are waiting for PM Oli to discuss the amendments,” said Rajendra Mahato, a member of the RJP-N presidium.
Having an overwhelming majority in Parliament, the Nepal Communist Party-led government can amend the constitution with support from Madhes-based parties if it wishes.
RJP-N leaders have warned the government of launching fresh protests if it failed to amend the constitution.
The third largest party in Parliament has been pressing for charter amendments in order to grant Madhesis more rights. RJP-N leaders including coordinator Mahantha Thakur put forth a number of demands in their recent meeting with the prime minister.
“The government has expressed its commitment to beginning the process soon to amend the constitution,” said RJP-N General Secretary Keshav Jha. However, they would not believe Oli without the government making any concrete move.
RJP-N leaders have also asked the government to allocate more funds for the plains citing low human development indices mainly in the eight districts of Province 2.
As the government presents the first federal budget on Tuesday, the RJP-N has been pressing the government to make the document “Madhes-friendly”.
Claiming that the Tarai was affected due to a sustained struggle for rights, the party wants the upcoming fiscal plans to focus on development in the plains.
Mahato added that PM Oli had invited them to join the government. “RJP-N will think about it once the government makes a written commitment to amending the constitution,” he said.
During their meeting with the prime minister, they also demanded a permanent flood rehabilitation authority in the Tarai, which faces deluge every monsoon.