Gachhadar confident parties will agree to eight provinces

Kathmandu, December 5

Chairperson of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic Bijay Kumar Gachhadar today said he was confident that the parties would ultimately go for eight provinces as stipulated in the 16-point agreement.

Addressing a press conference at party headquarters today, Gachhadar said his party had joined the incumbent government after signing an eight-point agreement and the party was committed to get the agreement implemented.

Gachhadar said if the major parties did not resolve the Madhes/Tharuhat agitation, the country could witness more serious conflicts.

He said he played an important role in drafting the constitution and he would continue to play his role to broaden the support of Madhesis and Tharus for the statute.

When asked how his party viewed the Big three parties decision to move the Constitution Amendment Bill and settle the question of provincial boundary through a political mechanism, Gachhadar said the three major parties had already agreed with him to do the same before the promulgation of the new constitution, but since they did not stick to their understanding then, MJF-D Constituent Assembly members did not the on the constitution.

“I had asked the major parties to sign a deal committing to resolve the question of boundary in Tarai/Madhes through political consensus, but since the leaders of the major parties could not agree to use of the word Tarai/Madhes, a deal could not be sealed before promulgation of the constitution,” Gachhadar added.

He said there should be understanding between political parties to mark the five districts — Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur as disputed districts and that should be settled later through dialogue.

He said amendment to the constitution was the only option now as complete rewrite of the constitution or formation of yet another Constituent Assembly were not possible.

Meanwhile, MJF-D issued a press release saying the current seven province model which has gerrymandered the boundaries had rejected the question of identity and economic viability and thus this model could not ensure ownership of Madhesis, Tharus and indigenous nationalities that have been discriminated and deprived for centuries.

The party expressed frustration over non-implementation of the eight-point deal even one-and-half month after the deal was signed. The party urged the government, major parties and the agitating forces to seek negotiated settlement of issues as soon as possible. The party demanded martyrdom status for protesters who were killed in police firing and free treatment for the injured people. The party also said the state had suppressed the Madhes/Tharuhat agitation.