Kathmandu, September 22
Agitating Madhes-based parties are eager to seal a deal to end protests in the plains but want ‘space for safe landing’, said sources privy to the talks that resumed between the three major parties and some Madhes-based parties today after the promulgation of the new constitution.
The agitating parties are not in a position to prolonging their movement, said sources, adding, “There must be a concrete deal on the issue of boundaries of federal units for a safe landing.”
During separate talks with Tarai Madhes Democratic Party and three-party front led by Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic leader Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, the Madhesi leaders urged the three parties to meet Madhesis’ and Tharus’ demands.
Following pressure to resolve the crisis in the plains, the three major parties sprung into action two days after promulgating the constitution. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala went to TMDP’s office in Bijuli Bazaar this morning to meet party’s Chairman Mahantha Thakur and held talks for about 45 minutes, according to TMDP leader Hridayesh Tripathi.
Top leaders of three major parties – Nepali Congress President and PM Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal – went to the Sanepa-based party office of MJF-D and held talks with the leaders of Gachhadar-led front, including MJF (Republic) Chairman Raj Kishor Yadav and Rastriya Madhes Sadbhawana Party Chairman Sharat Singh Bhandari.
“The problem has arisen as the three parties promulgated the new constitution without addressing the genuine demands of Tharus, Madhesis and indigenous nationalities. The bone of contention is the demarcation of federal units. We are ready to sit for talks if the three parties come up with a concrete proposal,” said Gachhadar.
Gachhadar said demarcation of boundaries remained a contentious issue. He told the leaders of the three parties to adopt eight-province model as agreed upon in 16-point deal among the four parties, including MJF-D, on June 8, said MJF-R leader Yadav.
“We are sad we could not participate in the final stage of promulgation of new constitution, as you did not take our concerns seriously. Despite that we are positive about resolving the issues through amendments to new constitution,” Gachhadar told the three leaders, according to MJF-R leader Yadav.
PM Koirala told TMDP Chairperson Mahantha Thakur that even the leaders of the three major parties were divided on the issue of boundaries, as it was a complex issue but a solution could be found through talks. “In response, we urged the PM to come up with a unified view of the Congress and its allies” Tripathi said.
A version of this article appears in print on September 23, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.