Conducive atmosphere must for talks, says TMDP

Kathmandu, January 28:

The central committee meeting of the Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) held today reiterated that it will be “meaningless to hold talks with the government without creating a conducive environment.”

A statement issued by party president Mahantha Thakur at the end of the meeting stated that the meeting approved Thakur’s reply to Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel rejecting the latter’s offer for talks on January 25.

In his letter, Thakur had said that it would be meaningless to sit for the talks in the absence of a conducive environment. The government and TMDP were supposed to hold talks on TMDP’s 11-point demand on January 25, but the talks did not take place as the agitating party sought the government’s stand on its demands.

“As long as the government does not make clear its stand on our 11-point charter of demands handed over to PM Girija Prasad Koirala, it is meaningless to hold talks with the government,” TMDP spokesperson Sarbendra Nath Sukla said at the party office. He said the Madhesi and marginalised people would get nothing from the polls without addressing the 11-point demand.

A guarantee of a single Tarai-Madhes pradesh with the right to self-determination is a demand of the TMDP’s 11-point charter. He said the party was considering whether to take part in the polls or give continuity to the stir. The statement said the party decided to demand a pair of oxen as the party’s election symbol with the Election Commission.