Nepal Foreign Affairs (Kathmandu, July 17): The Indian establishment has said that the demarcation of the federal provinces should be settled before the constitution drafting at any cost.
During separate meetings with visiting UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in New Delhi, on Friday, Indian President Pranab Mukherji, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh suggested Dahal to forge consensus over demarcation of the federal provinces before the promulgation of the new constitution, a diplomatic source told Nepal Foreign Affairs. The Indian establishment’s suggestion came against the spirit of the 16-point deal struck by major political forces in Nepal on June 8 which had paved a way for ensuring the new constitution.
“The Indian establishment made it clear that the Madhesi parties must be brought on board the constitution-drafting process and the demarcation of the federal provinces needs to be resolved before the promulgation of the new statute,” the source added. During the meeting Dahal said the major parties would do their best to bring the statute on consensus.
According to a statement issued by the Indian Prime Minister’s Office, during the meeting with Modi, Dahal thanked the Prime Minister for Indian assistance in the aftermath of two powerful earthquakes in Nepal earlier this year, including the pledge of US$ 1 billion announced at the donors’ conference in Kathmandu on 25 June 2015.
“The Prime Minister reiterated India’s commitment to fully support Nepal in letter and spirit in the reconstruction effort. He also praised the people and the leadership of Nepal for their efforts in rebuilding Nepal after the grave tragedy,” the statement said.
On the occasion, Dahal briefed Prime Minister Modi on the Constitution drafting process in Nepal. “The Prime Minister appreciated the recent progress and expressed hope that outstanding issues would be resolved at the earliest, so that the Constitution that is adopted enjoys the support of all sections of the society and helps build an inclusive, stable and prosperous Nepal,” the statement added.