Mahato meets INC leaders in Delhi

Kathmandu, January 9

Chair of Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato, who is staying back in New Delhi for his follow up treatment, met two leaders of Indian National Congress Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid today.

According to Pankaj Das, a family friend of Mahato, the two leaders of the INC expressed moral support to ongoing Madhes movement. The meeting took place at India International Centre in New Delhi. According to Das, former minister Khurshid told Mahato that the repression against the movement was condemnable. “Such acts of repression in any democracy are unacceptable,” Das quoted Khurshid as telling Mahato.

Khurshid also told Mahato that he and his party would mount pressure on the government to openly support Madhes movement. According to Das, Khurshid expressed his displeasure with the Government of India for not openly supporting Madhes movement. Khurshid wanted to know from Mahato whether or not the Constitution Amendment Bill would address the concerns of the agitating Madhesi parties. Mahato said the Bill does not adequately address the agendas of the agitating forces.

According to Das, Mahato told the INC leaders that Madhesi parties’ agitation would not end unless their demands, including the demand for revision in the provincial boundaries, were addressed. Mahato also told the INC leaders that the major parties, particularly the CPN-UML and the Unified CPN-Maoist, were not in favour of amending the constitution and were hatching conspiracy to deflect the blame on the United Democratic Madhesi Front for not amending the constitution.

Mahato had met Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj yesterday. Das said Mahato had rejected Indian government’s request to end blockade at entry points. Das said Swaraj had expressed her worry about the deepening crisis in Nepal.