16-point Agreement Leads to Draft of the Constitution
After a long attempt, there was 16-point agreement among the four political parties. Despite objections of many Tarai-Madhes-centred parties and RPP (Nepal) to the agreement, the process of constitution-drafting moved ahead in the Constituent Assembly. The Supreme Court ruled that the agreement was against the Interim Constitution and ordered that the constitution should not be drafted according to the agreement. The Constituent Assembly moved ahead with constitution- drafting ignoring the ruling. The Constitution-Drafting Committee prepared a preliminary draft of the constitution by including the notes of dissent as part of its report.
The leaders of Congress, UML, UCPN (M), and Forum (Loktantrik) held several rounds of discussion on constitution-drafting, but the main point of difference was in federalism. After much discussion, the leaders of Congress, UML, UCPN (M), and Forum (Loktantrik) were positive on keeping six to eight federal states. Then the parties focused on the names and borders of the state. UCPN (M) proposed delineating the borders but giving the responsibility of naming the states to the concerned states, but Congress and UML proposed giving the responsibility of delineating the border to a federal commission.
After an informal agreement was reached among the four parties, UCPN (M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Forum (Loktantrik) chairperson Bijaya Gachchedar held discussions with the parties in the UCPN (M)-led alliance. They suggested not agreeing to federalism without delineation in addition to states based on capacity and identity. The four parties held continuous talks to reach an agreement on federalism and other disputed issues. On June 8, leaders of Congress, UML, UCPN (M), and Forum (Loktantrik) signed a 16-point agreement that would address all the disputed issues of the constitution.