What were the main debates during the preparation of the preliminary draft and the concept paper of the new constitution?
We couldn't come to an agreement on naturalised citizenship through marital relations. Currently a foreign man who marries a Nepali woman cannot obtain citizenship. But if a foreign woman gives up her original citizenship when she marries a Nepali man she is eligible for Nepali citizenship. When the committee proposed to end this discrimination there was a difference of opinion. Similarly, there was disagreement on whether to grant citizenship to a child whose father is unknown or who does not acknowledge paternity.
There were also differences on whether to provide compensation in the course of land reform and whether it was necessary to accept pluralism when setting up a political party. The Janjati groups were in favour of self-determination being included as a fundamental right.
How many fundamental rights will there be in the new constitution?
The 1991 constitution had 21 fundamental rights while 31 are being proposed now. Some feel even this is not enough, and we have received external proposals to include 150 subjects within the ambit of fundamental rights.
Were the concept papers passed by agreement?
Yes, we did not even have to vote on the key issues.
But that draft paper was set fire to by a group under the leadership of your party colleague Pasang Sherpa right at the gates of the CA?
Whoever was involved was not a member of the committee. They were protesting the fact that even with a majority, the draft papers did not include the right to self-determination, self-rule and autonomy. They should have been more responsible. Maoist CA member Ram Bahadur Thapa and NC CA member Lila Subba were there too.
Constitution 2010, Nepali Times coverage of issues related to writing the new constitution