UDMF to intensify agitation

KATHMANDU: Leaders associated with United Democratic Madhesi Front today said Madhesi people were overwhelmingly supporting their agitation against the new constitution and they were ready to intensify their ongoing agitation.

General Secretary of Sadbhawana Party Manish Kumar Suman said Madhesi people were burning copies of the new constitution without fearing the bullets of security personnel and police were firing shots in Jhapa, Morang, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara and Banke, yet people were on the streets.

“We cannot think of loosening the ongoing agitation. We would rather intensify our agitation by imposing effective blockade and closure of government offices,” he said.

Co-chair of Federal Socialist Front Nepal Rajendra Shrestha echoed Suman’s views.

Shrestha said only time will tell who – the government or the protesting parties were responsible for the current situation in the Madhes. General Secretary of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Sarvendranath Shukla said the government’s apathy towards issues raised by Madhesi and Tharu forces was only worsening the situation in the Tarai.

He said the government needed to normalise the situation in the Tarai in order to find a negotiated settlement of constitutional issues.

“How can we hold talks with the government of the Big three parties when people in Madhes are in mourning and people in Kathmandu are celebrating promulgation of the new constitution?

Shukla said the government and protesting parties must prepare some ground work before senior leaders of UDMF can hold formal talks with the government/Big three parties.

Shukla said if UDMF leaders’ talks with the government/Big three parties failed, that could create more chaotic situation in the Tarai and the UDMF leaders, therefore, wanted to prepare well for talks.

Spokesperson of Nepali Congress said his party today decided to take the initiative to seek negotiated settlement of the concerns of Madhesi and Tharu communities and he was hopeful that talks would resume soon.

“The ongoing protests have caused a lot of damage and we are in favour of resolving the issues before they spiral out of control,” he said, adding that party leaders were informally chatting with leaders of the protesting forces.