CPN (Maoist Center) Deputy General Secretary Barsha Man Pun has said that the Constitution must be amended to address the issues about the Citizenship Bill raised by President Bidya Devi Bhandari.
Pun, who gave a class to students of the Central Economics Department of Tribhuvan University as a visiting professor on Thursday, has stated that the Constitution should be amended for equal treatment of men and women on the issue of naturalized citizenship by marriage as pointed by President Bhandari and added that the wish about inclusion of an issue prohibited by the Constitution is unfair.
“If a foreign woman married to a Nepali citizen so wishes, she may acquire naturalized citizenship of Nepal as provided for by the federal law,” the Constitution states about citizenship by marriage. But the Constitution is silent about foreign man marrying a Nepali woman.
The issue of discrimination raised by many including President Bhandari, he has conceded, is right but the Constitution will have to be amended to address that.
He has claimed that his party had raised the issue while drafting the Constitution but other parties ignored it.
He has argued that there is no reason to be suspicious as the government has expressed commitment to bring another bill forging national consensus to address the issue while presenting the current Citizenship Bill in the federal parliament.
He has reiterated his party position that both foreign man and women should wait for seven years to acquire naturalized citizenship by marriage pointing that India has also kept a cooling period of seven years.
He has also pointed at the Home Ministry’s record showing that just around 425,000 foreigners have acquired citizenship by marriage in the past 70 years and argued that there is no reason to worry that the provision will put national security under threat.