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Petition filed seeking Dalits’ proportional representation

Published Date: 12/22/2017

Kathmandu, December 26

A writ petition was filed today at the Supreme Court, demanding proportional representation of Madhesi Dalits in provincial assemblies and the Parliament.

The petition filed by Dalit rights activists has named the government, the Election Commission, the Parliament and all five national political parties — CPN-UML, Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal — as defendants.

The petitioners claim that although the constitution ensures 13.8 per cent Dalit representation in the provincial assemblies and the Parliament, the parties had fielded very few Dalits in the elections. They also complained that proportional representation of Madhesi Dalits, who make up for 35 per cent of the total Dalit population, would not be ensured in the provincial assemblies and the Parliament due to apathy of concerned agencies.

Article 40 (1) of the constitution ensures proportional representation of Dalits in all state organs. Likewise Article 40(7) of the constitution states that the facilities ensured by the constitution to Dalit community must be distributed in a just manner.

Of the 165 parliamentary first-past-the-post constituencies, Dalit candidates won only three.

Likewise, Dalit candidates won only three of the 330 provincial FPTP constituencies.