HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The caucus of Indigenous Nationalities Constituent Assembly members today told the top leaders of major parties that they would stick to single identity-based federalism but would compromise on mixed names of federal states if that would help in the promulgation of the Constitution.
Following the meeting with top leaders held at the official residence of the Prime Minister at Baluwatar, convener of the indigenous CA members’ caucus Prithvi Subba Gurung said they had already left the issue of prerogative rights for the sake of drafting the new constitution.
However, the radical faction of Unified CPN-Maoists took a strong stand on single identity based federalism.
Another CA member Lokendra Bista said they had told the leaders that they would also accept mixed names of the Pradesh instead of single identity if that issue was blocking the drafting of the new constitution. He said the proposed Newa Pradesh could be Newa-Bagmati or Newa-Kantipur Pradesh incorporating the reports of the State Restructuring Committee of CA and the report passed by the majority of the High-level State Restructuring Commission.
The caucus team had told leaders that they wouldn’t accept a blank cheque, so names and numbers had to be settled today. Other technical issues could, however, be settled by the transitional parliament, he said. He claimed that the discussion was focused on 10 to 14 states model.
Bista claimed that they had become flexible just because of the acute pressure on them created by NC and UML leaders as they were saying that the constitution could not be drafted and the CA would be dissolved.
The caucus of indigenous nationalities CA members have been strongly lobbying for single identity based federal states and they were even ready to violate the whip of the party for the sake of their communities.
The Indigenous Nationalities Joint Struggle Committee including the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities had organised various protest programmes including a three-day general strike demanding single identity based federalism.