After the humiliating debacle of the first constituent assembly (CA), the political class had promised not to again render its second version meaningless by delivering new constitution. It was their chronic obsession with power politics that inhibited the promulgation of new constitution earlier.
However, the demeanors being shown by major political parties aptly represent the saying ‘old habits die hard".
The issue of power- sharing is once again overshadowing the key priority of the nation.
The ongoing political negotiations seem to be subverting the urgency of reaching consensus on the contentious issues of new constitution. Major political parties are more fascinated with the bargaining regarding power-sharing between them after January 22-the deadline set for promulgating new constitution.
The key coalition partners- Nepali Congress and CPN (UML)- are more smitten by the issue of power-sharing.
The CPN (UML) wants to grab the leadership of the government after the said deadline but the NC is simply against this. In fact, the two parties have long been wrangling with each other for grabbing vital posts like president and premier after the promulgation of new constitution.
Main opposition UCPN (Maoist) is also largely concerned with getting key political posts to offset the losses it has incurred after the second CA poll.
The extended deadline for the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) of the constituent assembly to reach consensus on contentious issues of the new constitution is to set expire on November 1.
But, instead of trying to minimize their differences, the parties are indulged in brinkmanship for their own trivial interest.
So, the chances of meeting the deadline are getting increasingly tenuous.
The parties continue to bicker over the issue of federalism, the prime bottleneck to be solved for the new constitution.
The ruling parties want to federalize the country based largely on capability while the opposition bloc consisting of UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi parties are rooting for ethnicity-based state restructuring.
It is being suspected that major parties are making furtive attempts to draft the new constitution without settling the disputed issues.
However, it does not a rocket scientist to say if this really happens, it will only prove a big disaster to the country.