FIMA leaders meet Ambassador Rae

Kathmandu, December 16

Leaders associated with the Federal Inclusive Madhesi Alliance today met India’s Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae and told him that the Constitution Amendment Bill tabled in the Parliament yesterday would not meet the agitating forces’ demands.

Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta, chair of Tarai Madhes National Campaign, a constituent of FIMA, said the alliance leaders met Ambassador Rae and told him that if the Constitution Amendment Bill was passed in the current form it would not ensure 51 per cent first-past-the-post election constituencies in Madhes nor would it hike the percentage of proportional representation.

Madhesi leaders also told Rae that the bill would not address the question of provincial boundary.

Gupta said the agitating Madhesi forces wanted inclusion of Madhesis in civil service, Nepali Army and constitutional bodies and if proportional inclusion was ensured only in the fundamental rights chapter, the Madhesis’ demands might not be fulfilled.

“If the proportional inclusion is ensured only in fundamental rights chapter, the state can delay its implementation. Gupta said the alliance leaders also told Rae that the ongoing agitation had become people’s agitation and therefore the Madhesi forces were under pressure find an acceptable solution.

According to Gupta, Ambassador Rae wanted to know leaders’ opinion on the Constitution Amendment Bill and said leaders should find a solution to the current problems as soon as possible.

“He did not say anything about any of the major issues but what I gathered from his expression is that if the agitating forces sit for dialogue more frequently solution to boundary question could also be found,” he added.

According to Anil Kumar Jha, chair of Nepal Sadbhawana Party, another constituent of FIMA, the Indian Ambassador told them of the discussion between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa and Indian government and discussions between Madhesi leaders and the Indian government.

According to Jha, Ambassador Rae told the FIMA leaders to show flexibility from their side so that the current problems could be resolved.Rae said when India spoke about taking Madhesis on board the constitution making process, some took it as support to Madhesis and opposition to Pahadis. “Our only concern is peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal.

We treat all sections equally in Nepal,” Jha quoted Ambassador Rae as telling the FIMA leaders.