Nepal | April 25, 2019

Govt, NC ‘reluctant’ to hold talks with FA

Federal Alliance to submit memo to PM today before spearheading stir

Tika R Pradhan
Singha durbar Cabinet meeting on Lawmakers of political parties, including the ruling ones, today criticised the government for its tardy progress on burning issues

Singha Durbar. Photo: THT Online/ File

Kathmandu, April 26

The Federal Alliance that includes agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front is preparing to hand over a memorandum to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli tomorrow, accusing the government of remaining indifferent to their demands.

The FA would formally begin its new phase of movement after submitting the memorandum but the government claims that they had publicly called the agitating parties for talks but they ignored their call.

Before his India visit PM Oli had said he would address the concerns of agitating parties through talks soon.

Bishnu Rimal, political adviser to Prime Minister Oli, said the PM had been publicly inviting the agitating parties for talks since long but they had not yet responded.

Rimal said the government was ready to send them a written invite if that was what they wanted but they had not communicated their intent.

Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato said since the government refused to discuss the demands of the FA it was planning a joint movement, along with indigenous nationalities, and their movement would focus on Kathmandu and all the district headquarters.

Newly-elected president of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba had said the NC would take the initiative to resolve the issues being raised by the agitating Madhes-based parties.

NC leader Dilendra Badu said NC had been asking the ruling CPN-UML and Unified CPN-Maoist to send their representatives for the Political Mechanism led by NC to initiate talks with agitating parties but had not received their names yet.

Badu said since it would be difficult for the main opposition party to be in the government’s talks team, NC, in coordination with the major parties, has decided to take the initiative for talks.

He said some of their major demands were fulfilled by the first amendment of the constitution for which NC had taken the initiative.

He added that NC was urging agitating parties not to go for struggle and be ready for talks as conflict would not resolve the problem.

Ram Naresh Raya of the Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party said they had changed the forms of their movement at the request of all sections of the society but the government was neglecting them.

Chairman of the High-Level Political Coordination Committee Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the HLPCC would take the lead in resolving the Madhes issues through talks.

Dahal’s Personal Secretary Jokh Bahadur Mahara said no political meetings were organised lately because Dahal was busy with party’s functions.

He said Dahal would consult the leaders of the parties in the Oli-led coalition government before holding talks with agitating parties.

A version of this article appears in print on April 27, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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