MJF-G wish-list: Republic, free Madhes, PR

Kathmandu, November 21:

A breakaway faction of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) led by Bhagyanath Gupta today demanded that the country be declared a republic by the interim constitution, proportional representation system based on population be adopted for the constituent assembly election and the Madhes region be given autonomy with rights to self-determination keeping intact the national integrity.

The Gupta-led MJF (MJF-G) came up with the fresh demands after concluding the “comprehensive Madhes national political conference” in the capital, which was organised on Monday and Tuesday.

A press statement issued during a press conference stated that the conference formed an 11-member taskforce to formulate policies and programme for a united party or a political front.

The conference was

attended by 11 parties

or political forums active in a peaceful agitation in the Madhes region.

The political conference, also attended by the

Nepal-based OHCHR chief Richard Bennett as a chief guest, also called for holding a “scientific” population census besides a comprehensive national-level

political conference to discuss the issues of republic, electoral system and autonomy and to end the current political deadlock.

The MJF faction also demanded that the interim legislature-parliament be dissolved once a new date is fixed for the constituent assembly election.

“The interim government, interim parliament and the seven-party alliance have failed to address grievances of various communities. So, a national-level political conference comprising representatives of all communities must be called to discuss the political deadlock,” MJF vice-president Kishor Kumar Biswas said.

Asked why they raised the issue of fresh population census before the CA polls, Biswas claimed it was necessary to “ensure proportional representation of communities in the constituent assembly according to their population.” He also claimed that the population census will not delay the assembly election.

Further asked why they

invited OHCHR chief

Bennett in their political conference, Bhagyanath Gupta said they did so to “muster international support for our movement”.

“We invited him (Bennett) to attend our conference as the state has violated our human rights,” Gupta said.

The statement also criticised Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala for his recent statement that he could resolve the Madhesi problem within minutes by holding talks with India.

“He intends to denigrate our national liberation movement. Prime Minister Koirala’s statement is irresponsible and apolitical,” the statement said.