HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
JANAKPUR: Sadbhawana party leader Rajendra Mahato today said that major political parties could still attempt to weaken the agenda of federalism in the new constitution.
Mahato said marginilised communities in Madhes, hills and mountains need to remain vigilant to see to it that their rights are enshri-ned in the new constitution.
“Federalism without respecting identity would be meaningless. Madhesi people, under internal subjugation for 240 years, do not want their Pradesh to be weak. They do not want to remain at the mercy of the centre,” said Mahato.
Talking to this daily on the sidelines of Sadbhawana Party’s Fifth General Convention, Mahato Madhesi people wanted an undivided Madhes. “If that is not ensured in new law of the land, then we would fight democratically and peacefully for the cause,” he added. Mahato said the Madhesi parties would not concede to Nepali Congress and UML’s proposal to include Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari in the Far East and Kailali and Kanchanpur in the far west in non-Madhes Pradeshes.
“Identity is reflected when language, culture geographical homogeneity of a region are taken into consideration. Tarai districts should remain as Madhes Pradesh,” Mahato said. “UCPN-M is closer to Madhesi parties on the issue of Madhes Pradesh.”
Mahato said that the only issue left for deliberation between the Madhesi leaders and the Maoists was on including 11 Tharu-dominated villages in Chitwan within Madhes Pradesh. Party co-chairman Laxaman Lal Karna said Sadbhawana would take to the streets if political parties attempted to include areas in Madhes in non-Madhes pradeshes.
“If any of our alliance partners concedes to other parties’ demand to mix Madhes areas with non-Madhes Pradesh or if UCPN-M sides with the Nepali Congress and UML on federalism, then we will snap our ties with them,” Karna said.
Despite the five-point agreement between political parties, Karna said, differences over federalism and forms of governance persisted between and among major political parties “We can promulgate a new constitution only through consensus.” Asked whether the validity of the agreement that the Madhesi forces signed with the Maoists had finis-hed Karna said, there would be new understanding between the parties to expand the four-point agreement.