Govt’s relevance rests on addressing Madhesis, Janajatis’ concerns: PM

Kathmandu, September 14

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today told leaders of the United Democratic Madhesi Front and Federal Alliance that if the current coalition government failed to address the agenda of Madhesis and Janajatis, its relevance would end.

Tarai Madhes Democratic Party leader Sarvendranath Shukla, who attended the meeting, said the PM also told the leaders of agitating forces that he was aware that his government should succeed in addressing the issues of Madhesis and Janajatis.

“If this coalition government fails to address the issues of Madhesis and Janajatis, that would mark the failure of 60 per cent of force of the Parliament.

No other force can address the issues of Madhesis and Janajatis,” Shukla quoted the PM as saying at a UDMF meeting held ahead of PM’s India visit.

According to a press release issued by the PM’s secretariat, the PM told UDMF leaders that his India visit was not linked to constitution amendment.

“The government is serious about implementing the constitution by expanding its acceptability. Both sides need to make more efforts for the same,” the release quoted the PM as saying.

Shukla told the PM that constitution amendment issues should not be linked to his India visit.

He also told the PM that if he moved a constitution amendment bill before his India visit it would be interpreted as an attempt to appease India and if he moved the bill after his India visit, it would be seen as an act under pressure from the Indian government.

Shukla told the PM that if the current government failed to address the concerns of Madhesis and Janajatis, the country would witness new kinds of conflicts that would affect every individual.

The PM also told the meeting that the government and the UDMF were about to forge an agreement on language, representation in the Upper House and proportional representation.

He said they had narrowed down their differences on the issue of revision of provincial boundaries as well.

Chair of Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Republican Rajkishor Yadav told THT that the PM said he had been holding informal dialogue with stakeholders, as such meetings were more effective than the formal dialogue where parties often toe their parties’ formal line.

SP Chairperson Rajendra Mahato said he could not attend the meeting owing to his poor health. He, however, told THT that the government had not kept its promises.

“The PM had said publicly that he would move the constitution amendment bill in the Parliament but he had not done so.

Nor has the government done things that it can do on its own.” Mahato said the government’s delay in addressing the concerns of Madhesis and Janajatis could exhaust the patience of the agitating forces.

He said if the government did not address the issues of the Madhesis and Tharus soon, the UDMF would come under pressure to take to the streets.

Lal commission given full shape

KATHMANDU: The government on Wednesday gave full shape to the probe commission formed under former Supreme Court justice Girish Chandra Lal a few days ago.

According to TMDP leader Sarvendranath Shukla, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi announced the names of other members of the commission in a government’s meeting with leaders of the United Democratic Madhesi Front and Federal Alliance.

Nidhi told the meeting that the government had appointed former AIG of Nepal Police Navaraj Dhakal, former deputy attorney general Surya Koirala, retired AIG of National Investigation Department Sukhchandra Jha and lawyers Sukhi Lal Chaudhari and Sajan Lopchan as members of the commission.

According to Shukla, Nidhi said one joint secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs would serve as member secretary of the commission.

The commission is mandated to investigate allegations of violence and human rights violations committed during the Madhes movement.