NEW DELHI: All eyes will be on Nepal’s Parliament on Sunday, with the government likely to table two constitutional amendments which, if passed, will meet a substantial part of the demand of the agitating Madheshis in the country.
Nepal has, meanwhile, requested India to allow vehicles carrying fuels, medicines and essential rations to jump the long queue of trucks at the border to ease the severe shortage in the mountainous land-locked country, even as limited resumption in movement is reported from Sunauli crossing.
On Sunday, the Nepal government will table two bills to amend the 14-day-old Constitution to ensure proportional representation of marginalised communities in the state organs, and population-based delineation of electoral constituencies – key demands of the Madheshi political parties.
Here in New Delhi, there is a sense that the actions of the political parties in Parliament could be the inflection point in the current crisis. Sushil Koirala’s omission in announcing his resignation is seen as a political move to ensure that his expected successor KP Oli of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) supports the amendments.
“If Oli is assured that he will be the next PM, there is no reason why the amendments are not passed,” said a source, observing the unfolding Nepal developments. The votes of UML and its 175 members is crucial to pass the constitutional amendments with a two-third majority in the 601-member Nepali Parliament
If the amendments are not passed, there is expected to be even more intensification in the protests in Nepal’s Terai belts.
Speaking to Express, Nepal’s ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay said he met Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Friday, and apprised him of developments. “The dialogue process of political leaders with the Madheshi parties have led to acceptance of nine out of 10 demands. The tenth — drawing up borders of provinces, will be done by a federal commission,” he said.