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Nepal president calls for all-party meeting over Constitution

Concerned about the deadlock over amending Nepal’s Constitution, President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday called for an all-party meeting to discuss the current political situation.

The meeting with the political parties represented in Legislature-Parliament will take place later on Sunday.

“President Bhandari has been concerned with the latest political development,” a source was quoted as saying by the Republica Online.

“She has called an all party meeting in a bid to seek a political solution to the current imbroglio,” it said.

Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC said the President called him to be present for the discussion.

The meeting has been called at a time when the political parties are sharply divided over the constitution amendment bill registered in Parliament.

Bhandari has been urging the top leaders of the major the parties to bail the country out of the current political deadlock through consensus.

The Madhesi Front last week refused to back the Constitution amendment bill, saying it was not acceptable in its current discriminatory form.

The Constitution promulgated last year could not be implemented due to the agitation by the Madhesis.

The Madhesi parties and ethnic groups have been demanding more rights and representation for the marginalised people. Re-demarcation of the provincial boundaries and citizenship issue are the two major demands put forth by the Madhesis.

The Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a six-month agitation from September last year to February this year in which more than 50 people were killed. The agitation had also crippled the landlocked country’s economy as supplies from India were blocked. 

India supports Nepal’s Constitution change process 

Welcoming the move to amend the Constitution by the Nepal government, India on Sunday expressed support for ongoing efforts to meet the aspirations of all sections of the Nepalese people. “Peace, progress, and stability of Nepal is in interest of both India and Nepal. We have been supportive of the initiative of the Nepal government to meet the aspiration of all sectors of society through dialogue and constitutional process,” the Indian Embassy here said in a statement.

“India will continue to support Nepal’s peace, stability, and accelerated economic development as per the priorities of the people and government of Nepal,” it said. 

The Constitution promulgated last year could not be implemented due to the agitation by the Madhesis, mostly Indian-origin. Amendment of the Constitution to redraw the provincial boundary of the country is the key demand of the Madhesi parties.

The Madhesi Front last week refused to back the Constitution amendment bill, saying it was not acceptable in its current discriminatory form. 
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