Negotiations with UDMF to continue today

Rautahat, September 30

Unified CPN-Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who is part of the major parties’ team to hold talks with the agitating forces in Tarai-Madhes, said the three parties’ talks team would hold negotiations tomorrow with Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chair Mahantha Thakur, who would represent the United Democratic Madhesi Front in the talks.

Shrestha also said the talks team would meet top leaders of the three major parties before holding talks with Thakur and, if need be, the top leaders of the three major parties could also hold negotiations with Thakur tomorrow. The talks team could sit for talks with Thakur twice tomorrow. When asked if the three major parties were ready for withdrawing cases against the protesters as demanded by protesting forces, Shrestha said the talks team would discuss the matter with the top leaders of three parties.

Meanwhile, Thakur has ruled out formal talks with the government unless UDMF’s conditions for the same are met. Speaking at a protest meeting organised by TMDP and National Muslim Struggle Alliance in Gaur today, the UDMF coordinator reiterated their demands — mentioning the past agreements in the constitution, sending the army to the barracks, declaring the people killed in the agitation as martyrs and providing compensation to their families.

“If the government is serious about settling the ongoing unrest in the Tarai, it needs to take genuine initiative to address our demands without any delay,” argued Thakur, who pledged their agitation would continue till their demands were met.

“The Madhes has been burning for over a month but the ruling elites in the Capital have kept silent, branding the Madhesis, who just want their rights and equality in the country, as terrorists,” Thakur said.

Sadbhawana Party chairman Rajendra Mahato vowed not to be taken in by the ruling parties’ calls for ‘meaningless’ talks. He also sought the release of persons detained during the agitation and free treatment to the injured.

Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Chairperson Upendra Yadav criticised the ruling parties and CPN-UML Chairperson KP Sharma Oli. “The remarks of the ruling parties and Oli have only served to anger the Madhesi populace,” added Yadav.

He also accused the government mechanism of plotting to dilute the relationship between Nepal and India by spreading rumours about the Indian support to the ongoing Madhes agitation.

Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Chairperson Mahendra Raya Yadav warned of retaliation against any attempt to suppress the Madhes agitation. He also vowed to continue the stir until Madhes was declared as an autonomous Madhes Province. Regarding the custom points blockade, he said it was done with the support and participation of the Madhesis.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the UDMF held in Rautahat’s Gaur this morning decided to launch a non-cooperation movement from Thursday. According to Thakur, who attended the meeting, the movement will take off with an appeal to the commoners not to pay any sort of taxes or revenues to the government.