Major parties, UDMF inch closer to pact

Kathmandu, January 16

The meeting of two task forces of major parties and the United Democratic Madhesi Front today inched closer to consensus, leaders attending the meeting said.

Following the meeting, Nepali Congress leader Mahesh Acharya said they were close to strike a deal, though no decision was taken today.

Co-Chairman of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna, who attended the meeting for the first time after his party decided to boycott dialogue with the government, also said a deal was on the cards.

He said the two task forces today dwelt on action plan of the proposed political mechanism.

Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party’s Ram Naresh Raya Yadav said the United Democratic Madhesi Front would dwell on the terms of reference of the political mechanism which the major parties would come up with on Sunday.

He said giving legitimacy to the mechanism through Parliament alone would not suffice, as they were still not clear how the provincial boundaries would be revised.

He said UDMF had urged the task force of major parties not to put the phrase “as per the existing laws” on the issue of matrimonial naturalisation for acquiring citizenship.

Raya, however, said the seriousness shown by the major parties to address UDMF’s concern by Monday was a positive development.

FSF-Nepal leader Mangal Siddhi Manandhar said the UDMF task force was waiting for a concrete stance of the major parties on their demands.

Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal and Unified CPN-Maoist General Secretary Krishna Bahadur Mahara were present from the government side, while Karna, Mangal Siddhi Manandhar of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Vice Chairman Hridayesh Tripathi and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Ram Naresh Raya Yadav represented the agitating faction in the meeting.