Govt’s decision a step forward, says UDMF

Kathmandu, December 21

A day after the government endorsed three-point roadmap to end the Madhes agitation, it today formally informed yesterday’s Cabinet decision to the leaders of the United Democratic Madhesi Front.

The UDMF responded by calling it a positive step.

Deputy Prime Minister and coordinator of government’s talks team Kamal Thapa today called UDMF leaders at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singha Durbar and informed them about the government’s decision to amend the constitution as per the wishes of the agitating parties.

Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party’s senior leader Ram Naresh Ray said it was a step forward for creating an environment for talks but the UDMF would respond to the government after front leaders dwell on the issue tomorrow.

“The government’s decision has created a positive atmosphere for talks but it doesn’t mean this will address our concerns. The proposed constitutional amendments should be changed if

our concerns are to be addressed and the major parties should take the agitating parties and people of the Tarai into confidence by precisely telling us how they are going to change the boundaries of federal units within three months,” Ray said.

Taking the Madhesi people into confidence through reliable public commitment from major parties is imperative, as the Madhes agitation is not confined to UDMF but involves Madhesi people, he said.

MoFA, meanwhile, issued a statement regarding the Cabinet decision. It stated that the government was committed to amend the constitution to ensure proportional inclusion and election constituencies on the basis of population, besides ensuring at least one constituency for each district.

An appropriate constitutional arrangement will be made through political consensus regarding boundaries of the federal units by also incorporating the concerns of agitating parties. A mechanism will be formed to forge such consensus.

The mechanism will provide a report with its recommendations within three months. An appropriate solution could be sought through talks and consensus on other demands, including one related to citizenship.

Stating that the government respected people’s right to agitate peacefully and lawfully, it urged the agitating parties to withdraw their protest programmes, as it was committed to seeking settlement of issues through dialogue and negotiations.

The agitating UDMF has been saying that the proposed constitutional amendment is not sufficient to address its concerns and it wants specific amendments to the constitution amendment bill.

Also the Madhes-based parties have been demanding two provinces in Madhes, in accordance with the reports of the State Restructuring Commission and thematic committee of the first CA.

They want to address the boundaries issue immediately or want a concrete commitment from the three parties that the issue would definitely be addressed within three months.


“The Unified CPN-Maoist has been insisting on incorporating the concerns of agitating parties in the new constitution through amendment and settle the issue of boundaries of federal units without any delay.

Nepali Congress too is positive about it. However, CPN-UML is not yet ready,” said UCPN-M Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha

Leaders of UDMF also held a breakfast meeting with Indian ambassador Ranjit Rae in Kathmandu.