“There’s nothing in Citizenship Bill that endangers national integrity”

Dhiraj Basnet

September 24, 2022


“There’s nothing in Citizenship Bill that endangers national integrity”

KATHMANDU: With President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s not authenticating the Citizenship Bill for the second time, there are indications that the country is heading towards a political confrontation.

The main opposition party CPN-UML is actively defending the President. The ruling coalition is on the way to seeking a judicial review of President Bhandari’s unconstitutional move to refuse to certify the citizenship bill that was passed by the sovereign parliament twice.

In this context, Khabarhub’s Dhiraj Basnet approached Minister for Urban Development and CPN-Unified Socialist leader Metmani Chaudhary to discuss Unified Socialist’s analysis of the latest political development in the country, the complications related to the seat allocation among the coalition partners among many others.


Since the President did not authenticate the Citizenship Bill, what would be the government’s move now?

The government will now proceed ahead as per the constitutional provisions. We will move forward taking the best interest of all Nepali people who are seeking the constitutional right of the citizens.

We will go to the court seeking compliance with the court’s mandamus. The Parliament passed the Citizenship Bill twice.

Do you think that the President’s refusal to authenticate the Bill passed by the Parliament twice at a time when the country is heading for election and the parliament will affect the elections?

The President did not act fairly. She had been validating everything the government said or did when CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli was in power.

She became like a rubber stamp of UML Chairman Oli. Despite being the President, she failed to act fairly and rationally. The President could not save her dignity.

How can the same bill be conscientious during Oli’s time but irrational and anti-national during Sher Bahadur Deuba’s premiership?

The President could not raise her above Oli’s cadre’s status. When a wrong and underserving person reaches the high post, the entire nation suffers. A person should not be allowed to challenge the law and the Constitution.

Will this issue affect the election or not?

It will not affect the election. Yet, whoever does evil will be punished by the public.

The President exercised her discretion. Why do you object to this?

She holds a ceremonial post. The executive is the cabinet. After the executive makes a decision, it is the responsibility of the president to pass it as it is.

Therefore, the President cannot back down from the hypothesis that there will be a crisis in the nation. There is nothing anti-national or against sovereignty in the Citizenship Bill.

Many Nepalis have become stateless. The President should specify which clause or the provision endangers the national integrity if she thinks so.

Every person should get citizenship after taking birth in Nepal. Although the president could hold the Bill one time, she cannot refuse to authenticate it again and again.

If there was a parliament, would the alliance choose the path of impeachment against the president?

What is the sense of indicting a woman who has no knowledge at all? What can one say to the person who says it is good once and the same is bad the next time? This raises questions about her common sense.

Has this problem arisen because the office of the president has been handed over to party cadres?

Dr. Ram Baran Yadav also became the President before. If the right candidate is chosen, s/he can use discretion and refrain from party politics.

However, when a person holding a dignified post listens to a party leader, rather than listening to her conscience, the problem starts.

There is still no agreement on seat distribution within the ruling coalition, when will it be agreed upon?

It’s all set very soon. Agreements have been reached in most districts. We get between 23 to 25 seats. Other parties will get the seats accordingly.