Maoist denies to bargain identity-based-federalism

KATHMANDU: The standing committee meeting of the UCPN (Maoist) held today has concluded that the Supreme Court (SC)’s interim order against the bill registered at the Legislature-Parliament by the government for extension of the Constituent Assembly (CA) term was wrong.

The meeting held at the residence of party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal after the three-party meeting further concluded that the SC failed to understand the government’s intention to promulgate the new constitution based on consensus.

On Thursday, the SC had given the interim order in the name of government not to forward the bill that was registered at the Legislature-Parliament seeking CA term extension yet another time.

After the meeting, Maoist Vice-chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that the bill was registered for constitution’s amendment to extend the CA term if an obligatory situation was created in case the new constitution was not promulgated by May 27.

“The interim order of the SC has not grasped the intention of promulgating new constitution based on consensus. So, we have considered the SC’s decision wrong,” he said.

Shrestha said it would be unfortunate if the country was pushed to uncertainties by creating environment for not drafting the constitution and dissolving the CA because of the SC’s decision.

He said the meeting also decided to make maximum efforts to bring the new constitution within May 27 by forging consensus with major political parties.

But, Maoist party was committed to identity-based federalism, nomenclature of federal states and delineation of the provinces.

Shrestha said consensus can be forged on the 10-province proposal floated by the Maoist party or the 14-province proposal passed by the State Restructuring Committee of the CA but identity cannot be abandoned but joint names could be given to the states.

The Maoist party has also decided to take to the streets peacefully if federalism with identity was not guaranteed in the new constitution.

The Maoist party has also decided to take the United Madhesi Democratic Front, Broader Madhesi Front, Indigenous/Nationalities, Muslims, Dalits and other communities into confidence. The party has not decided whether or not to step down from the government if the party chose to go for struggle.

Shrestha also said that the Maoist party was committed to the 5-point agreement and the Prime Minister would call it quits if promulgation of new constitution was guaranteed. RSS

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