Major parties on verge of breakthrough with UDMF?

On constitution amendment bill, the task force of major parties has agreed to meet most of the UDMF demands through the amendment

Kathmandu, January 10

The meeting of the task forces of the major parties and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front today decided to continue their talks, which have been moving in a positive direction, tomorrow as well.

The two task forces have been engaged in serious, free and frank negotiations on the UDMF’s 11-point demands to resolve the Tarai crisis.

According to a member of UDMF task force, Ram Naresh Raya, during today’s meeting both the task forces agreed to sit again on Monday after making necessary preparations to create an environment of confidence and address all the demands of the UDMF.

Both the task forces today dwelt on ways to authenticate the agreements -- whether through the Parliament, Cabinet or a political mechanism.

Raya said the government had proposed a political mechanism to finalise the issue of provincial boundaries in three months but the UDMF wanted to know on what basis such a mechanism could be trusted to address the front’s concerns, as many promises made to the Madhesis in the past were not kept.

Another member of UDMF task force, Rajendra Shrestha, has been stressing on political agreement to resolve differences on the federal structure. He claims that technical concerns can be addressed if the major parties reach a political agreement with UDMF.

“On constitution amendment bill, the task force of major parties has agreed to meet most of the demands of UDMF through the amendment,” Raya said.

He said on the UDMF’s concern about citizenship, the major parties had agreed to ensure marital naturalisation as incorporated in the Interim Constitution.

UDMF has been demanding that the provisions of citizenship should be kept the same as in the Interim Constitution.

A member of the task force of the major parties and NC leader, Mahesh Acharya, said talks with the UDMF task force were moving in a positive direction and they had been trying to figure out meeting points to resolve the crisis.

He said the two task forces would meet on Monday afternoon as well.