Nepal PM Deuba faces flak over his remarks on Constitution

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba before their talks in New Delhi on Thursday. (Source: PTI Photo) Top News

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday faced criticism from political parties in the country for assuring India about Constitution amendment to address the issues of Madhesis. Deuba, who is currently on a state visit to India, during a joint press conference with Prime Minister expressed confidence that a Constitution “encompassing” the views of the people from all sections and ethnicities would be a reality.

Talking to reporters at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) before heading to Thailand for a medical check-up, main opposition leader and CPN-UML chairman K P Oli criticised him for raising the issue in a foreign country. “PM Deuba raised the issue of Constitution’s acceptability out of context from the foreign land, which is highly objectionable,” Oli said.

“This has put at stake our national pride and sovereignty,” the former prime minister said. “Deuba has taken the oath of office and secrecy while assuming the post of Prime Minister under the same Constitution and he was elected the Prime Minister under the same Constitution, how can he speak against the Constitution in the foreign country,” Oli questioned.

He said Deuba had no right to raise the issue that was decided by the Nepalese Parliament. “This is an objectionable matter. It is exclusively our concern what kind of constitution we adopt. Deuba is surrendering to India to prolong his tenure in the coalition government,” main opposition CPN-UML Vice chairman Bhim Rawal told reporters while reacting to Deuba’s remarks.

Ruling Nepali Congress Lawmaker Dhan Raj Gurung also said that Deuba’s remarks about Constitution amendment were unnecessary as it was very much an internal issue of Nepal. “It was unnecessary to speak about the Constitution amendment issue as this is not a matter of bilateral affairs that needed to be agreed with the neighbouring countries,” he said.

Nepal’s parliament on Monday failed to endorse the much-awaited Constitution amendment bill after it failed to muster the required two-thirds majority. 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.

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