Agitation will end when demands are met: Yadav

Kathmandu, December 21

Chair of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav said the ongoing agitation of United Democratic Madhesi Front will continue until its demands were met.

He said all the programmes, including blockade at the border entry points will continue. “We will blockade the border entry points wherever we can,” he said in an interview with THT.

When asked why they were averse to the idea of settling the question of provincial boundary through a political mechanism within three months as proposed by the major parties, Yadav said there was a crisis of confidence between the two sides as the major parties had backtracked on their pledges in the past.

“The boundary question can be settled in three minutes if the major parties are serious about it,” he said, adding that all the Madhes districts should remain in Madhes province(s).

He said hill districts should remain in hill province and Tarai districts should remain in Madhes provinces.

“If the major parties need some time to settle the provincial boundaries as they are saying, then why did they not form such a mechanism even three months after romulgation of the constitution?” he wondered.

On the issue of Constitution Amendment Bill, Yadav said they could accept the bill only if it ensured proportional inclusion of Madhesis, Dalits, women and all marginalised and deprived communities in both government and non-government sectors.

He said the Constitution Amendment Bill proposed to retain all 75 districts, which was against the concept of federalism. Election constituencies should be delineated on the basis of population, he argued.

On the issue of citizenship, Yadav said he was only concerned about foreign spouses married to Nepali nationals.

“I am not concerned about other types of naturalized citizenship, but in the case of foreign spouses of Nepali citizens, the provisions of the Interim Constitution should be retained and there should be no bar for this category of naturalized citizens,” he said, adding that citizens by birth should be treated as citizens by descent as there were only two kinds of citizens natural and naturalized citizens.

He said the current demarcation of provincial boundary was done to suit the interests of a few influential leaders of the major parties.

When asked how long they would continue their agitation, the Madhesi leader said their agitation had won wider support from Madhesi people and they would continue till their demands were met. “I am not there on the ground.

It’s the Madhesi people that are sustaining the agitation,” he said and added that given the history of movement for rights in other countries they were ready for a long battle.

“The Irish people fought for 1,100 years. South Africans fought for 250 years. Palestinians fought for 50 to 60 years.

The Burmese also fought for decades. Jharkhand residents also fought for 250 years to get their separate province so we are ready to fight for our rights no matter what the cost of such struggle,” he added.

Yadav, however, said their movement of non-cooperation would remain peaceful.