Lawmaker Yadav urges govt to reform EPG

Kathmandu, August 26

Speaking in the House of Representatives, one of the presidium members of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal Mahendra Raya Yadav today requested the government to reform the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations so as to include representatives from Madhes and opposition parties.

“There should be representatives from among Madhesis who make 52 per cent of the total population of the country,” Yadav said. He also accused the group members of preparing the report without keeping in mind issues of national interest and sovereignty. “ Since the group has not collected people’s views while preparing the report, we are not ready to accept the report as it is,” he added.

Interestingly, Yadav’s request to reform the EPG has come almost a year after it completed its report and a week after Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s Nepal visit.

The group has four members each from Nepal and India. Nepali EPG members include former foreign minister and ambassadorBhekhBahadurThapa, former chief commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Surya NathUpadhyay, former law minister NilamberAcharya and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Rajan Bhattarai.

The Indian EPG members are senior BharatiyaJanata Party leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, former vice-chancellor of Sikkim University Mahendra Lama, former Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad and VIF senior fellow late BC Upreti.

The group had finalised its report after the EPG’s ninth and final meeting on June 30 last year. The EPG, whose two-year tenure ended on July 3 last year, had been mandated to come up with a report on anything that needed to be updated, adjusted or amended in all the existing bilateral treaties, agreements, understandings, including the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950.