Settle all issues in three months: Dahal to Thakur

Kathmandu, December 31

Unified CPN-Maoist Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal today met the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chair Mahantha Thakur and urged him to settle all issues in three months, including the issues of proportional inclusion, electoral constituencies and provincial boundaries, but the latter rejected it.

Thakur told THT that Dahal offered him to settle issues in the next three months if agreement on issues was not possible immediately but he rejected the offer.

Dahal also told Thakur to accept 4-5 seats fewer than the proportion of population can ensure in the Tarai but he again rejected it, saying Madhesi people would not accept his proposal. Thakur said the UDMF could show flexibility in compensating some mountain areas and it could settle for sharing seats between the hills and Madhes in a 50:50 ratio but as far as the Upper House was concerned, the allocation of seats should be done on the basis of population of the provinces. The constitutional provisions ensures eight seats from each province.

Thakur said the best thing would be to delineate election constituencies on the basis of the population of the provinces and districts should not be any criterion for delineation of election constituencies. Dahal told Thakur that he needed to convince other major parties on allocating seats in the Upper House on the basis of population. Thakur said the UDMF could not accept major parties’ proposal to settle issues, particularly the provincial boundaries, within three months. “Four months have already passed since the constitution was promulgated. How can we be sure that boundaries will be changed in the next three months?” Thakur wondered. He said since parties were ready to clear the ambiguity that persisted in the citizenship clause of the constitution, resolution of citizenship issues might not be a big problem.

Meanwhile, UCPN-M issued a press release stating that Dahal and Thakur dwelt on forging a consensus on the constitution amendment bill and withdrawal of Madhes agitation. The party stated that the discussions were serious and positive.