FA to protest in capital for 10 more days

Kathmandu, May 18

The Federal Alliance, which has been spearheading Kathmandu-centric agitation against ‘discriminatory provisions of the constitution’, has decided to continue its protest for 10 more days in Kathmandu, but away from Singha Durbar and Baluwatar.

A meeting of the alliance held this morning took a decision to this effect.

The alliance, which has Madhesi and Janajati forces as its constituents, has decided to launch phase-wise protest programmes from May 19 to 28 at 10 different places of the Kathmandu Valley.

The protests will be held at Mangal Bazar, New Baneshwor, Swoyambhu, Chabahil, Kirtipur, Tribhuwan University Gate, Balaju, Kalanki, Madhyapur Thimi, Asan and Lagan Tole.

Protests will be held in Birgunj on May 29 and in Pokhara on May 30.

The alliance, which staged protests outside Singha Durbar and the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar in the last three days, held a demonstration at Ratna Park here today.

The alliance had resorted to Kathmandu-centric protests to pressure the government to address their demands.

The alliance has been seeking revision of provincial boundaries to ensure identity-based federal units, proportional inclusion of marginalised communities and equal right for women to transmit nationality to their children.

When asked about the reasons for relatively low number of participants in their protests, Sadbhawana Party Chair Rajendra Mahato said the Madhesi forces came to Kathmandu with the hope of getting rightful share in the state and if they were rebuffed, they would return to Madhes to organise their protests there.

Meanwhile, three constituents of the Federal Alliance today quit the alliance, saying they had not been treated as equal partners and their issues were not raised by the alliance.

Issuing a joint press release here today, the three fringe parties -- Lok Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party-Nepal and Loktantrik Party-Nepal -- said they would launch separate protest programmes to force the government to address 102-point demands put forth by the Federal Madhesi Front, which they are constituents of.

Lok Dal Chair Kaushal Kumar Singh said they decided to quit the alliance, as the alliance started to bargain with the government on the basis of 11-point demands put forth by the United Democratic Madhesi Front without caring about the issues raised by the Federal Madhesi Front.

UDMF recently rejected the talks offer made by the government, accusing it of not being sincere about negotiated settlement of constitutional issues.