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Nepal proposes Constitution amendment to meet ethnic demands

Nepal's government proposed constitution amendment bill to carve out a new state to meet the demands of agitating Madhesi and other ethnic groups whose protests for bigger federal state last year left more than 50 people dead.

Nepal’s government proposed constitution amendment bill to carve out a new state to meet the demands of agitating Madhesi and other ethnic groups whose protests for bigger federal state last year left more than 50 people dead.

The bill, registered at the Parliament Secretariat despite opposition from CPN-UML, passed its draft after the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. Bill also proposes to address three other key issues — citizenship, representation in the Upper House and recognition of languages spoken in various parts of the country.

Hridesh Tripati of the Terai Madhes Democratic Party has welcomed the bill.

“It is one step forward and a good progress but it is still not enough. This new proposal does not cover the districts we have been demanding to be included in Madhesi state,” Tripati said, adding an alliance of Madhesi parties would meet to decide if it was going to accept and support the government initiative.

The Madhesi ethnic groups are unhappy with the constitution that was adopted last year in parliament. They were dissatisfied with the territory assigned to them in the new federal states in the constitution.

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