Nepal decided to constitute 11-member political committee over provincial demarcations

Feb 19, 2016 13:13 IST

Nepal Government on 18 February 2016 decided to constitute an 11-member-political committee to study the demarcation of federal states on the constitution. It will also review the disputed provisions within the country’s new constitution that was adopted on 20 September 2015.

The 11-member will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and will also include representatives from the agitating Madhesis. Moreover, the committee will decide its terms of reference (ToR) on its own.

The committee is mandated to prepare its report and suggest recommendations within three months after it gets full shape.

The full shape to the committee will be given after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is back from his visit to India that started on 19 February 2016. Oli is on his first foreign visit since he became prime minister in October 2015.

Earlier, the three major parties of Nepal, namely Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) had agreed to form a high-level political committee to suggest a solution for the demarcation dispute within three months of its formation.

The Madhesis, who are largely of Indian-origin and are ethnic minority in Nepal, has been agitating against the adoption of the new Constitution by Nepal Constituent Assembly on 20 September 2015. They have been agitating against their marginalization in the new Constitution and had been demanding better representation in the Parliament and the federal structure of the new Constitution.

The agitation led to a crippling border blockade that ended earlier in February 2016 but not before leaving at least 50 people dead since September 2015.

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