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Nepal's new constitution

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Nepal formally adopting a new constitution is good news for India, coming as it does nearly a decade after a bloody long-running civil war in the Himalayan kingdom. The Maoists had raised the demand for a new constitution after the peace deal in 2006, and then won the elections to a constituent assembly two years later. The 240-year-old morchy came to an end, but the assembly kept squabbling endlessly. Filly the new constitution has come into being, giving Nepal a bicameral legislature with the Lower House of Representatives to have 375 members and the Upper House to have 60 members. It defines Hindu majority Nepal as a 'secular republic' divided into seven federal provinces. But the Madhesi and Tharu ethnic groups in south Nepal are not happy, fearing that changes to the borders and election rules will further margilise them. The constitution stipulates that 14 districts in the southern plains will be joined with provinces domited by hill dwellers. This is the reason plains-based political parties boycotted voting on the new constitution, protesting they will be under-represented. While welcoming Nepal for adopting a 'federal, democratic, republican and inclusive' constitution, New Delhi has voiced concern over violence in parts of that country bordering India, which has already claimed around 40 lives so far.

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