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Nepal’s states government struggling to choose names

Amarendra Yadav, KATHMANDU: Nepal has altogether seven States under the new federal democratic republican political system. Following the first elections to the state assemblies, along with federal parliament, all the states’ assemblies and governments have well been functioning.

However, only three state assemblies have managed to name their respective states. Thus, State 4, 6 and 7 have permanently been renamed as Gandaki, Karnali and Sudur Pashchim respectively.
They have also fixed their permanent state capitals. The remaining four states are still struggling to put their permanent names.
When consulted the State assembly members from those states, they expressed mixed opinions about the issue.
State 1 assembly member Jayram Yadav said that since the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had a two-third majority in the state assembly, they had nothing to do and it was up to the ruling party to finalise the issue.
Yadav, leader of the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, however, expressed hope that the state would get a new name by mid-May.
Kushal Limbu, state assembly member from the ruling NCP, said that the parliamentary party meeting scheduled for May 1 and 2 was all set to discuss the issue. “Among the tentative names like Kirat, Koshi and Sagarmath, the party will pick one, probably Koshi and will be settled the issue through the procedures of state assembly within mid-May,” Limbu stated.
However, Bikki Yadav, State 2 assembly member, said that as they had felt threat to the federal system from the ruling NCP and the centre, the ruling parties and the government of State 2 were concentrating all their focuses on the formulation of laws and the recruitment of staff under the state. Yadav, who is a leader from the ruling Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, further revealed that they would table the issue in the state assembly as the NCP and Nepali Congress were strongly preferring Mithila or Mithila-Bhojpura against the desire of the ruling Madhes-based parties. The RJP-N and FSF-N are batting for Madhes Pradesh or Madhya-Madhes Pradesh.
Similarly, permanent name of State 3 is also uncertain even through the ruling NCP has a two-thirds majority in the state assembly.
NCP’s state assembly member  Narayan Silwal said that the endorsement of the policy and programmes as well as budget, the issue might get priority in the state assembly during the forthcoming budget session.
Another state assembly member from the same party Laxman Lamsal said that Chief Minister and Speaker of the state assembly had yet to show seriousness to the issue. The two leaders, however, were of the common views that majority of the state assembly members were unofficially close to the consensus on the name of Bagmati Pradesh.
However, ruling NCP’s member Bhumeshwor Dhakal of State 5 said that the state would get its permanent name during the coming budget session.
“We will choose one among two options- Lumbini or Buddha Pradesh- and rename the state in the budget session, besides permanently fixing the state capital,” Dhakal added. Another state assembly member from FSF-N Santosh Pandey also echoed Dhakal, further stating that Lumbini had more possibility to be the name of the state. RSS

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