The ultimatum given by Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal to the government indicates not everything is good in politics

Jan. 12, 2019, 10:04 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL 12 No.11, January 11, 2019 (Poush. 27 2075) Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Just a week ago, main opposition Nepali Congress concluded its Mahasamiti Meeting, issuing a threat to government in a united voice. Now a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister K. Sharma Oli by Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, a partner in the KP Sharma Oli-led government indicates that something is cooking against the government.

One of the key demands of SFN is the amendment of the constitution in the current session of Parliament itself. To please two Madhesh based parties, FSN and Rashtriya Janta Party Nepal (RJPN), the government has allowed Resham Chaudhary to take oath of member of House of Representative.

Chaudhary, who was elected from a Kalali constituency, has been in prison facing alleged charges of killing 11 persons in Kailali carnage four years ago.

As the government is facing a serious criticism for not sacking Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari for his alleged involvement in the wide body deal, the ultimatum of FSN will add pressure on the government.

Coming out with a united voice to condemn the government, Nepali Congress has already made it clear that it will not tolerate any action that is against the spirit of liberal democracy. Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has already attacked the government as heading to be authoritarian.

Although Rashtriya Prajantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) does not have any major strength and public base to rock the government, it has also announced a nation-wide agitation to declare Nepal as a Hindu State.

RPP-N leader Kamal Thapa has already made it clear that his party will launch a do-or-die agitation to compel the government to restore Nepal’s status as a Hindu State.

According to a press release, the FSF-N urged the government to amend the constitution in the winter session of Parliament to institutionalise political gains, including federalism, democracy, republican order, proportional inclusion and national identity. Revision of provincial boundaries and enforcement of agreements signed between the government and Madheshi parties in the past are the major demands of the FSF-N.

The party sought enactment of laws to strengthen the federal republican order. It urged the government to control lawlessness, end bureaucratic sluggishness and control corruption. The party drew the government’s attention to the need to arm provincial governments with resources and means necessary to institutionalise the federal republican order, withdraw cases against its leaders and cadres during Madhesh and Tharuhat movements, form constitutional commissions and announce special development packages for Province 2 and Karnali Province that lag behind in development.

The party urged the government to promote cordiality and collaboration among federal ministries and create an environment for the FSF-N-run ministries to play their roles effectively. The FSF-N also wants the government to lessen dependence on the country’s bureaucracy for executing government policies.

The party said that the formation of the government of progressive forces in Nepal at a time when conservative forces were becoming strong elsewhere in the world was an important political achievement and yet the public had not felt the positive changes. “People should feel the positive achievements of the government. Why are they not feeling that? This should be analysed and reviewed,” the FSF-N said.

The party proposed to create a task force comprising representatives from both parties — the FSF-N and the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) — to frame and implement the government’s policies.

General Secretary of FSF-N Ram Sahay Yadav said his party decided to submit the memorandum as the government had not taken the initiative to amend the constitution despite signing an agreement with his party.

As the government is shaken after PAC’s report, the recent moves of all the political parties, including main opposition, in pressing the government indicates that something is cooking against the government.

Although the government holds a two-thirds majority in the parliament, the current moves are likely to weaken the government.

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