Prachanda calls Modi, discusses Nepal's constitution implementation process

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ talked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone on Tuesday.

New Delhi: Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ talked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone on Tuesday.

Prachanda spoke about ongoing efforts of his government to take all stakeholders on board in constitution implementation process.

The Nepal government had tabled a new Constitution amendment bill in Parliament on April 11. the amendments are meant to address the concerns of the agitating Madhes-based parties which are demanding more representation and re-demarcation of state boundaries.

According to the new bill, the government may form a federal commission to recommend it on the issues relating to the number of provinces and their boundaries.

The coalition government registered the new Constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat after Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajaya Shankar Nayak withdrew the previous bill tabled in Parliament on November 29 last year.

The Madhesi parties, that have been demanding more representation in all state mechanism, had earlier opposed the local body elections slated for May 14.

However, earlier this week, the Madhesi parties struck a deal with the Prachanda-led coalition government under which they would take part in the local body elections after a revised Constitution amendment bill is passed in Parliament through a fast-track process.

The Federal Alliance, a grouping of agitating Madhesi parties and ethnic groups, reached an agreement on issues related to Constitution amendment and local polls.

The government has proposed two dates, May 14 and June 14, for conducting local body polls on two phases.

“The Alliance would take part in local level elections only after the revised Constitution amendment bill gets endorsed in the Parliament,” said Rajendra Mahato, a senior leader of the alliance.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.

They are demanding more representation and re-demarcation of state boundaries in the Constitution.

The protest had resulted in the death of at least 50 people.

With PTI inputs