NC,UCPN-M blame UML for stalemate

Kathmandu, January 29

Talks between the major parties and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front have been stalled after the major parties passed the constitution amendment bill without the front’s consent.

CPN-UML, which leads the coalition government, and its chairman Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli have been blamed for the failure of the talks at a time when the stakeholders were about to strike a deal.

Unified CPN-Maoist Vice-chairperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said UDMF had shown flexibility in its stance and the major parties should strike a deal with it before things got out of hand.

He accused UML and its chairman for prolonging the Tarai unrest, as both the main opposition party Nepali Congress and coalition partner UCPN-M were ready to resolve the Madhes crisis.

NC leader and member of the task force formed by the major parties Mahesh Acharya also blamed Prime Minister Oli for the standoff.

He said the PM should come up with alternatives if he was not satisfied by the agreements struck by two the task forces and take initiative to resolve the crisis before it was too late.

Acharya said NC was ready to strike a deal with UDMF and was committed on the issues agreed upon by the two task forces but the PM should take the lead to end the stalemate.

Sources close to major parties claimed that further delay in addressing the Tarai-Madhes concerns would only strengthen the extremist elements and that could foment a separatist movement.

Co-Chairman of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Rajendra Shrestha alleged at the PM wanted to put the ongoing agitation of the UDMF into the hands of extremist elements. He said UDMF would have to intensify its stir if the UML and its chairman kept on ignoring the concerns of Madhes and indigenous people.

UDMF leaders are considering formation of a broader alliance of all the Madhes-based parties, Tharuwan-Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee, Muslims, indigenous nationalities and the Federal Alliance of nine parties before intensifying their agitation.

Sources further claimed that the government and especially PM Oli was for crushing the Madhes movement as soon as the blockade of the essential supplies ends.

Shrestha, however, said his party had been holding unofficial talks with UDMF leaders and UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal recently met Tarai Madhes Democratic Party leader Hridayesh Tripathi.

Dahal even cancelled his Bangkok trip so as to hold talks with leaders of agitating and major parties to resolve the Madhes crisis since NC leaders were busy with their party’s 13th National General Convention.