Constitution amendment bill tabled to mislead the public, says UDMF

Kathmandu, December 18

Agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front today said it would intensify its protest programmes, as there was no relevance of talks in the face of the tabling of constitution amendment bill.

The front issued a press release saying it held 15 rounds of talks with the major parties in the past but that did not lead to a meaningful conclusion due to lack of seriousness on the part of the state about the demands of Madhesis and other marginalised sections of the society.

Vice-chairperson of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Lalbabu Raut said at a press conference here today that the major parties, instead of rewriting and amending the anti-people and non-inclusive constitution, tabled the constitution amendment bill to mislead the public.

The front said the bill was aimed at diluting the inclusion provision by creating 17 clusters, which was against the past practices. It also said the bill proposed to delineate election constituencies on the basis of population and geographical characteristics keeping the structure of the 75 districts intact which was against the concept of federal state.

The front said the forces that ran the state affairs were still working with unitary mindset that favoured one ethnic group.

Chair of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Mahantha Thakur said the Madhesi leaders would now leave the capital for Madhes districts and future talks with the government and major parties would happen only in the Tarai if the latter wanted.

Thakur said the major parties had agreed to table the constitution amendment bill only after consulting the UDMF but acted unilaterally ignoring the agitating forces’ concerns.

Thakur said Madhesis were deprived of their rights and it was natural for national and international forces to sympathise with and support Madhesis. Thakur said the UDMF had rejected the four-point proposal that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa had given to India.

He said many leaders had already left for districts and those who were still in the capital would soon leave for districts to intensify the ongoing stir.

Meanwhile, the UDMF announced its protest programmes stating that it would counter the programmes of government ministers and lawmakers if those programmes are against Madhes agitation.

UDMF release states it will burn the copies of the constitution amendment bill in district headquarters on Sunday and in VDCs and cities on December 22; it will take out a baton rally in district headquarters on December 26.

The front also decided to forge working alliance with other parties, organisations and institutions to transform Madhes agitation into a nationwide agitation.

FSF-N Chair Upendra Yadav, TMDP Chair Mahantha Thakur, SP Co-chair Laxman Lal Karna and senior leader of TMSP-Nepal Ram Naresh Ray have signed the release.