Tripartite talks put off as Madhesi Front leaders do not show up

KATHMANDU: The scheduled tripartite talks among the ruling coalition, the main opposition Nepali Congress and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front could not take place as the UDMF leaders did not attend the meeting this evening.

The major parties -- including Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist -- on the other hand held a preparatory meeting and prepared their common stance including an agreement to amend the Constitution within next three months to address the demands put forth by agitating UDMF.

It has been learned that UDMF leaders telephoned Prime Minister Oli and informed him that they would not be able to attend the talks today citing their busy schedule.

After the three-meeting meeting, UCPN-Maoist Vice-Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha told the media that Prime Minister Oli would call the UDMF for talks again. The date of the talks, however, is yet to be fixed.

The top leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist among other ruling coaliton members also agreed to resolve the issues regarding the demarcation of federal units on the basis of political consultations and consensus within three months.

A political mechanism would be formed for this end, according to their decision.

Meanwhile, the parties urged the agitating UDMF to end their protests and seek the solution through talks.

The meeting scheduled for Wednesday was put off citing lack of enough homework on the part of the government.

Earlier today, the ruling CPN-UML held a meeting of its powerful Standing Committee to discuss the agenda of the purported three-party meeting and the tripartite talks.