Nepal Today

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Kathmandu, 31 July: NC President Sushil Koirala arrived in his electoral constituency Nepalgunj No..3 Monday.
He interacted with voters.
Koirala was defeated in the first assembly elections from the constituency.
Kathmandu, 31 July: League Champion Three Star Tuesday defeated
BJMC of Bangladesh 1-0 in the King;s Cup in Thimpu Bhutan and qualified for the semifinal.
Pukar Gahatraj scored the solitary goal.
Thee Nepali clubs are participating in the tournament.
Kathmandu, 31 July:: Madhu Nidhi Tiwari, who quit CDC yesterday, said today he had to resign as CDC member because other members wanted to rearrange all 240 first-past-the-post election constituencies which he thought could spoil the
electoral environment, The Himalayan Times reports..

Tiwari said he had tendered his resignation five days ago. His resignation was accepted and made public yesterday only and the government appointed Chudaraj Upreti in his place yesterday itself. Tiwari said CDC members wanted to take a final decision on rearranging even the 205 constituencies on the basis of population. “If I had stayed in CDC, I would have to write a note of dissent,” he said.

“First the CDC members were trying to rearrange 35 constituencies that were added in 2008. They had not figured out how they could add constituencies in Kathmandu and yet they decided to rearrange other additional 205 constituencies, therefore I decided to quit,” he clarified. He said the CDC members favouring delineation of all constituencies wanted to take population into account for the rearrangement but they were ignoring Article 154 (7) of the Interim Constitution that says population, geography, boundaries of administrative districts, density of population, transport facilities and cultural compactness should be taken into account. “If we work on all these criteria for constituency delineation, it might take a year to demarcate constituencies. We do not have information on other criteria,” Tiwari said.

“Candidates have already made calculations about their constituencies as to which villages would be in their constituencies, and if the CDC makes changes in all the constituencies that would virtually result in gerrymandering,” Tiwari added. A CDC source, however, said Tiwari’s claim that the CDC wanted to delineate all constituencies was wrong. “He quit for personal reasons,” the source added.
Kathmandu, 31 July:: The Constituency Delimitation Commission has just four more days to submit its report, but it is still undecided as to which approach it should
adopt, Ram Kumar Kamat reports..

CDC Spokesperson Tek Prasad Dhungana said they were discussing several options but were yet to reach anywhere.

In the existing situation, the CDC can add or reduce only 35 first-past-the-post election constituencies that were added in 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, but it will have to strike a delicate balance between Madhes and hill regions.

Article 154 (8) of the Constitution prohibits reduction of 205 constituencies that existed in 1999, but Article 63 (3) says Madhes will have constituencies in proportion to its percentage of population.

“We have the option to keep the existing constituencies unaltered or make minimum changes in the 35 constituencies,” said Dhungana.

Another option for the CDC is it can adjust population in all or part of 240 constituencies. Minimum addition or reduction of seats might or might not occur in this situation. “The CDC cannot increase 240 seats under the existing situation, but nothing stops it from adjusting population,” Dhungana said.

CDC report cannot be challenged in a court, but any move of it does run the risk of antagonising political parties if it fails to strike a delicate balance.

CDC member Netra Dhital said they were mulling over the option of rearranging constituencies where necessary. “Population variation in all six constituencies of Rauthat is not more than 3,000. We might not need to make any changes in districts like Rautahat,” Dhital added. He said the CDC might not need to arrange more than 20 constituencies.

There are 14 hill and Himalayan districts that have one constituency each where rearrangement will not occur under existing situation.
“This is not the time to look for opportunities to reconcile with the ex-monarch, but it is high time the Congress and Communists worked together for the
betterment of the nation,”

(Baburam Bhattarai, The Himalayan Times, 31 July)
‘When the former king visits temples the ground shakes. When he visits
district headquarters to distribute relief,. It sinks.)
(RPP Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapaa, Nagarik, 31 July)
Kathmandu, 31 July:: India’s ruling Congress party approved today the creation of a new southern state, a move that has revived deep political divisions and raised fears of violence in the area, home to global firms including Google, Reuters reports from New Delhi..

The decision to break up Andhra Pradesh state and establish Telangana comes ahead of elections next year and critics say the ruling party is seeking to shore up its political fortunes after dragging its feet over the explosive issue for four decades. Supporters, however, say Telangana’s economic development has been neglected in favour of the richer and more powerful Andhra region, and that a new state is the only solution. “It was not an easy decision, we appeal to people to cooperate,” said Ajay Maken, a spokesman of the Congress after the party’s highest decision-making body adopted a resolution calling for the establishment of a new state, igniting celebrations in parts of Andhra.

Additional federal troops were deployed ahead of the decision in the coastal parts of Andhra Pradesh where people are bitterly opposed to the breakup of the state.

The booming state capital Hyderabad, where Google, Microsoft and Dell have major sites, will remain the common capital for two states for a period of 10 years, Maken said. Hyderabad, India’s sixth largest city, was a bone of contention because it fell in the proposed new state carved out of the western part of Andhra Pradesh. A government official said there was still a long way to go before the new state, which will have an estimated population of 40 million, became a reality. The measure has to be approved by the Andhra assembly and then the federal parliament where the Congress does not have a clear majority.

“We’re swallowing the poison for our party. The decision is very unfortunate but since our leader has taken the decision we’ll abide by it. We know the consequences, the problems that will follow,” said Rudraraju Padma Raju, the chief whip of the Congress in the state.

One immediate consequence is likely to be renewed demands from other parts of India for separate states, including in the Darjeeling hills and a further breakup of the most populous Uttar Pradesh state. Since independence in 1947, successive governments have dealt carefully with demands for new states — creating three in 2000 — while ensuring demands did not spiral enough to threaten the integrity of a nation that now has 1.2 billion people with hundreds of languages, ethnicities and castes. India currently has 28 states while the United States with a population of 300 million has 50.

The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said he feared the establishment of Telangana would set off more unrest. “Telangana is a state that will be created on the basis of agitation. It’s not created on the basis of any recommendation of a state reorganising commission or something like that,” said Omar Abdullah. “I believe this is a dangerous trend because all we are doing is sending across a message that if you agitate enough, and if you agitate long enough, you will create a state.”

Another fear is that leftist guerrillas who operate in parts of the proposed Telangana state will become further emboldened and take advantage as the new state comes into being.


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