While the agitating Madhesi parties have rejected the report of the Local Level Restructuring Commission, lawmakers from the largest party Nepali Congress have joined the chorus demanding a review of the report. They argue that the report would be unacceptable to the people in the present form.
Speaking in the special hour at Legislature-Parliament on Monday, the lawmakers claimed that the report was impractical and unscientific, calling for changes before its implementation.
NC lawmaker Jagadish Narsingh KC claimed that the report contradicted the recommendations made by the authorities in the respective districts. The LLRC had formed technical committees in each district, directing them to carry out the restructuring in consultation with representatives from the political parties.
“What was agreed in the district was altered while compiling the report,” said KC, presenting the case of his home district Nuwakot. He also claimed that police had used force against the locals who had reached the District Administration Office to submit a memorandum against the report. Police on Friday fired 11 rounds of rubber bullets after the protest against the restructuring of units in the district turned violent.
An all-party meeting on Monday failed to resolve the tension. The agitating villagers and District Develop-ment Committee employees have continued their protests. The eastern part of the district remained shut on the ninth consecutive day, affecting normal life.
NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi is the home minister while KC’s brother Arjun Narsingh is also a minister in the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government. The LLRC on January 6 submitted its report to the government recommending 719 village and municipal councils in the federal set-up.
“This is a crucial part of implementing the constitution, requiring due focus for its wider acceptability,” said another NC lawmaker Bharat Bahadur Khadka. Once the report comes into force, the existing 217 municipalities and 3,117 village development committees will be replaced by 719 local structures across the country. According to Article 303 of the constitution, the existing bodies will remain until their restructuring.
Implementation of the report is a must if the government is to hold the local level elections, to which the major parties have agreed in principle. However, over two weeks since the report was submitted, the government is still reluctant to implement it due to reservations from the regional parties and some Congress leaders.
The Madhes-based parties maintain that it is futile to go for local level restructuring without resolving the issue of provincial boundaries. They also want population as the sole basis for restructuring the local units.