Kathmandu, November 21
Four fringe Madhes-based parties today formed an alliance called Federal Inclusive Madhesi Front in Janakpur in a bid to to make the ongoing Madhes agitation more effective and decisive.
The four parties that entered into the alliance are Sharat Singh Bhandari-led National Madhes Socialist Party, Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta-led Tarai Madhes National Campaign, Anil Kumar Jha-led Nepal Sadbhavana Party and Rajkishor Yadav-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Republican.
The constituents of the alliance said they would also hold dialogue with other agitating forces, including UDMF, Federal Madhesi Front, and organisations of Dalits, Muslims, OBCs, Tharu and Janajati communities to prepare grounds for formation of a stronger force.
The new alliance said it would soon prepare an integrated charter of demands after consulting with various agitating forces and would seek a negotiated settlement of their issues.
TMNP Chief Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta said although the people of Madhes wanted to see all the agitating Madhesi forces come under a single umbrella, the UDMF leaders did not want other fringe parties become a part of it. “But we are not going to compete with the UDMF. We are in fact going to supplement the UDMF agitation,” said Gupta.
He said FIMF expected that Matrika Prasad Yadav-led Maoist party would also join the new alliance in a few days. He said there was a danger that agitation in Madhes could turn violent, and therefore, political forces in the country need to seek a negotiated settlement of the issues. Gupta, however, criticized the Nepali Congress for not playing a positive role in the current crisis.
“If NC pushes for resolving the crisis through constitutional amendment, that could create more pressure on the government,” he said, adding that NC should be ready to amend the constitution to address all the issues, including the issue of provincial boundaries.
He also criticised the UDMF for not consulting the hill Janajatis, Tharus, Dalits and other minorities before preparing its charter of demands. Gupta said the new alliance of the four fringe parties would hold dialogue with other stakeholders to prepare an integrated charter of demands.
The four-party coalition also formed a talks team to carry out its protest programmes and coordinate with alliance partners. NMSP Spokesperson Keshav Jha said the four parties decided to form their own coalition as the United Democratic Madhesi Front had not been recognizing their participation in the agitation.
A version of this article appears in print on November 22, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.