By Our Reporter
The government has finally stepped back from its previous plan to name the temporary capitals of the provinces due to the nationwide protests against the cities recommended by a committee formed to study the infrastructures of the potential provincial headquarters.
Although the government had not named the capitals, people across the country took to the street against the recommendation. People in almost all provinces demanded that their cities must be made the provincial capital.
Indeed, these were not the stirs launched by particular political parties, but by the influential leaders of the concerned locality. But the government feared whether the CPN-UML would intensify the protests once the capitals are named, and withheld its plan.
However, the UML leaders have appealed to its cadres not to protest against the temporary capitals. Even President Bidya Bhandari told Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to name the temporary capitals of the provinces. But the government will probably not take the unpopular decision.
But now when the situation worsened, the UML and the Maoist leaders who earlier denied PM Deuba’s appeal to forge consensus to name the temporary capitals and appoint the governors are exerting pressure on government for the same because they also do not want to take unpopular decision.
But now the Deuba-led government is almost sure only to appoint the governors, who will administer the oath of office to the newly elected assembly members in Kathmandu. It means, the headquarters of all provinces will be Kathmandu.
Indeed, this incident shows that federalism is irrelevant in Nepal. If the capitals of all seven provinces are named within Kathmandu, then how can the federalism be implemented. Federalism has failed in the first step because it was not the demand of the Nepali people.
Interestingly, except for the Province 4, people took to the streets demanding that the provincial capitals should be in their own cities.
In Province-1, the people of Dhankuta and Itahari demonstrated after Biratnagar was recommended for the temporary headquarters. People of Dhankuta even staged a demonstration at the PM’s residence Baluwatar.
Likewise, the people of Birgunj took to the street against the recommendation of making Janakpur capital of Province-2. Likewise, in Province 3, people of Banepa organised a rally demanding that the headquarters should be in Banepa in place of Sano Thimi. Interestingly, Narayan Man Bijukshe has opposed the idea of making Sano Thimi provincial capital. People of Chitwan and Hetauda have also demanded that their cities be the capital.
In Province-5, people led by Bishnu Poudel took the street protesting against the recommendation made to make Dang provincial capital. Krishna Bahadur Mahara of the Maoist Centre wants Dang to be the capital while Poudel had promised to make Butwal capital at any cost. Even the people in Kapilvastu had demanded capital in Taulihawa.
In province 6, Jumla revolted against Surkhet and in seven Dipayal people took to the street against the recommendation to make Dhangadhi capital of Province-7.