KATHMANDU, May 19: Altogether 320 Madhesi and Janjati lawmakers from different political parties have joined hands to oppose last week´s agreement on federating the country into 11 provinces, a development that brings pressure on the political parties to review the agreement.
On Saturday, the lawmakers submitted a memorandum to Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, demanding that the deal be scrapped and the federal model of the country determined on the basis of the majority reports of the State Restructuring Committee and the State Restructuring Commission.
Even lawmakers from the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML have signed the memorandum although their respective parties support the 11-province model. Indra Bahadur Gurung, Jip Chhiring Sherpa, Prithvi Subba Gurung and Ram Chandra Jha are some of the lawmakers from the NC and the CPN-UML who have stood against the 11-province model.
Similarly, Dev Gurung, Barshaman Pun, Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and Mahanta Thakur are some of the other well-known names among the 320 lawmakers opposed to the 11-province idea.
"Our main concern is that the agreement disrespects the reports of the State Restructuring Committee of the Constituent Assembly and the State Restructuring Commission," said NC lawmaker Indra Bahadur Gurung.
Accepting the memorandum, Maoist Chairman Dahal said the agreement on 11 provinces has lost its legitimacy as it is opposed by Madhesi and Janjati lawmakers. Dahal further said that the parties would strive to reach a new agreement on number of provinces.
"Its [agreement´s] legitimacy no longer exits. A new agreement is required in the changed context. I hope other parties will take this positively and play a role to that end," Dahal told the lawmakers.