Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal Co-chair Mahantha Thakur and three other leaders - Rajendra Mahato, Laxman Lal Karna, and Sarvendranath Shukla - today met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and urged him to meet their demands.

JSP-N leaders demanded that JSP-N leaders and cadres, including lawmaker Resham Chaudhary, who were indicted in 'false cases', be released from jail, citizenship bill be passed, constitution be amended, and Lal Commission report be made public. Former Supreme Court justice Girish Chandra Lal-led Commission had investigated the killings during the Madhes movement and submitted its report in 2017.

According to Shukla, Thakur told the PM that his party could extend outside support to the Oli government if its demands were met. Oli said he was positive about addressing the JSP-N's concerns. Shukla said they told the PM to work on the constitution amendment bill. "Once we know the UML's stance on the constitution amendment bill, the joint taskforce of the UML and the JSP-N could then hold talks with the Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre," Shukla said.

He said the NC and the CPN-MC had supported the constitution amendment bill in the past. The JSP-N wants to know whether they still supported it, he added.

Mahato said they told the PM to speed up the process of addressing their concerns. "The PM is positive about addressing our concerns, but we have told him that his words should be translated into action soon," Mahato said.

UML deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang, who was present in the JSP-N leaders' meeting with the PM, told THT that both sides had decided to continue talks.

He said the talks between the government and the JSP-N leaders were not tied to any condition, including the JSP-N's support to the government.

JSP-N negotiator Laxman Lal Karna said JSP-N leaders asked the prime minister to address their demands in a time bound manner.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.