National Assembly sends citizenship bill to Legislation Committee

A National Assembly meeting
File: A National Assembly meeting

Kathmandu, August 28

The National Assembly has sent the controversial citizenship bill that the House of Representatives had sent to it following the endorsement to the Legislation Committee for further discussion.

During the upper house meeting on Sunday, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand proposed sending the bill to the committee, which the assembly endorsed unopposed.

Now, it is not sure when the National Assembly will complete the discussion although the ruling alliance.

Earlier, it was reported that the ruling party wanted to forward the controversial citizenship bill through a fast track.

There are also reports that President Bidya Devi Bhandari could resign if both houses endorse the bill without any change as she had suggested.

While some stakeholders have expressed concerns that it could result in a constitutional vacuum as the country does not have sufficient time to elect the new president ahead of the scheduled House of Representatives elections, some doubt it could be just her tactic to put pressure on the National Assembly to consider her suggestions.

The second amendment to the Citizenship Act was aimed at addressing concerns of the Madhesh-centric parties and the Non-resident Nepali Association. However, it was drawn into controversy citing the citizenship bill did not bar foreign women marrying Nepali men from getting citizenship easily.

Self-claimed nationalist activists have expressed concerns that loose citizenship provisions in Nepal could give the dominating India to gradually push its citizens to Nepal and perpetuate its control over the small county.

Consequently, President Bidya Devi Bhandari returned the bill to the parliament, suggesting a reconsideration, bringing herself into a conflict with the executive.

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