Despite massive protests against the constitution amendment bill, the government seems hell-belt in endorsing it in the parliament. On Saturday, the leaderships of the ruling parties-Nepali congress and CPN (Maoist-Center) told the Madhesi/minority constituencies that they will endorse the controversial bill at any cost.
A number of districts in the western and mid-western regions of the country have been witnessing major and minor protests against the bill.
Particularly speaking, the main opposition CPN (UML) has even ventured into disrupting the parliamentary process to thwart the endorsement of the same.
The recent killing of the Chairman of the CPN (UML) aligned Youth Association Nepal's Rupandehi Chapter, Durga Tiwari, an active participant of the ongoing agitation against the bill, has further irked it.
Though the details of his murder are yet to be clear, it is widely suspected that Tiwari was killed for some shady political motive.
It does take a rocket scientist to say that the bill is intended at jeopardizing the national integrity by separating hilly districts from Province Number 5.
So, locals and political parties in various districts of this province have been terming the provision of the bill for the south-south re-delineation as a ploy to divide between the Madhesi and Hill/mountain populations.
The opposition to the amendment bill has come not only from the main opposition CPN-UML but also from within the ruling parties -NC and the CPN (Maoist Centre). The disgruntled leaders of the parties have even come together to set up "joint struggle committees" in various districts in the region. Such committees are also actively supported by a huge number of the local people including businessmen and civil servants opposing the idea of re-delineation of the Province Number 5. As a matter of fact, major and minor protests have been erupting across the region.
Interestingly, most of the Madhes-based parties, who were earlier cold towards the bill, have started to back the bill. Unsurprisingly, such political volte-face on the parties came after their hobnobbing with the Indian embassy here in Kathmandu. It is an open secret that the bill was forwarded at the behest of New Delhi to appease the Madhes-based parties.
The ulterior motive of the bill is to enable the big brother to totally control over as strategic region of Nepal as Terai. And the Madhes-based parties are just acting as the political stooges of India by raising the demand of creating provinces based solely on the territory of the southern belt.
They have also been arrogantly insisting that the five disputed districts—Jhapa, Morang Sunsari in eastern Tarai and Kailali and Kanchanpur in the far-western Nepal should be part of Terai-based provinces. This gives ample space to strongly suspect their instance on federalism.
Be that as it may, the sharp polarization over the amendment has raised a great deal of uncertainty whether it will be passed. At the same time, it has only acted as a tinderbox of big disaster in the country.