Consensus on eight provinces likely: Dahal

Kathmandu, December 23

Chairman of Unified CPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal said consensus could be forged on an eight-province model by forming a separate province having disputed Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and some other districts.

Addressing a press meet organised to reveal decisions of the party’s central committee meeting that concluded yesterday, he said his party had been trying to resolve the problem through continuous dialogue with the agitating Madhesi parties.

He claimed UCPN-M was the first to raise the concerns of the marginalised Madhesis, Tharus and other indigenous groups and would continue fight for addressing them.

Dahal said his party had registered differing views on seven-province model and had proposed an eight-province model.

He said he was hopeful the parties would reach an understanding with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front soon as they had shown flexibility. “UCPN-M could play the role of mediator as NC and UML were conservative,” Dahal said, adding that the genuine demands of agitators must be addressed.

According to Dahal, the UDMF had demanded commitment from the parties to declare the five districts as disputed region and to settle their demarcation later, which the other parties didn’t agree to.

Dahal hoped that the Tarai blockade would end soon and added that it should be taken as a challenge and an opportunity, as it opened avenues for the country to explore new business avenues instead of depending only on one country.

“Besides we can utilise this opportunity to make the country independent as far as essential items are concerned,” he said.