Will CPDCC forge consensus

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As expected, the constitutional political dialogue and consensus committee (CPDCC) has been extended for yet another week hoping the parties will forge consensus on key issues of the new constitution. The parties sordidly fail to reach an understanding within the twice extended duration. Its extended deadline is ending on Friday and it very uncertain that the top leaders will clear the deck that has remained the bone of contention.  This time around, it cannot afford to miss the deadline without any concrete result. If it fails to forge consensus on key issues of the constitution, the stage will be set for yet another cycle of conflict in the country.

Meanwhile, the much touted all party political conference has been cancelled- thanks to our so called major political forces. The cross party conference was expected to give the pace to the constitution writing process by bringing the parties outside the CA into board. Sadly, it was put off at the eleventh hour after the splinter parties led rejected to take part citing several reasons.

In their quick response, the ruling coalition along with the opposition criticized the alliance of fringe parties led by Mohan Baidya for not taking part in the conference aimed to settle the thorny issues of the new constitution. They argue that the fringe parties are not serious in the constitution writing process and hence coming up with irrational demand. The fringe parties on the other hand said that the conference was merely a gimmick of the major parties to meet their own interest. Now, both parties have been firing salvo at each other at a time when consensus on key issues is of paramount importance. This does not augur well for the country in transition.

Of late, the euphoria that rises during and after the April uprising among the people is gradually evaporating. The recent agitation by some group of people in several districts of the country is cases in point that how people are saddened by the self centered tendency of the parties. A Delhi based Political commentator and close observer of Nepal’s peace process, Prof Shanta Ram Pokhrel stated that the parties need to realize the desires and aspiration of the people who have been patiently waiting for lasting peace and sustainable development in the country. 

The top leaders of the major parties have been engrossed in constituting the high level political mechanism than holding discussion on key issues of the new constitution. As a result, the constitution writing process has hit the snag. This has saddened the people who have been agonized by the protracted transition resulting from political deadlock.

When it comes to forge consensus on issues relating to perk and pelf, the leaders of all hues were always successful to reach an understanding without much difficulties. The government recent decision to increase the development fund for members of the parliament is a case in point. What is more irksome is that the government provided mere NPRs 3000 to the flood victims as dashain expenses while the leaders make extravagant visit to different countries for their minor ailment.

During the election, the leaders embrace all possible measures to woo the voters urging them to vote for in their favors. Similarly, they make tall promises and vow to introduce several programs at the local level to up lift their socio economic status. Sadly, the leaders even do not visit their respective constituencies until the next election let alone the development programs. Such practice over the years has remained the major hallmark of our so called political leaders.

Needless to mention, the political parties and their leaders have been not been in position to take the independent decision on issues of national interest. They often seek the foreign support, especially India, to make decision at the time of crises. This may also be taken as one of the prime factors that impede the attainment of consensus among the leaders of the political parties.

This is a litmus test for the top leaders of the major parties to forge consensus on key issues of the new constitution. As the country is in perpetual transition, it is not prudent to confront each other vexing issues. They should rise above their petty interest and work hand in hand for the betterment of the country. This will be their great tribute to the nation.  Are they listening



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