PM backtracking on commitment: Thakur

Kathmandu, March 4

Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chair Mahantha Thakur accused Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal of backtracking on his commitment expressed in the three-point agreement.

PM Dahal’s CPN-Maoist Centre, the Nepali Congress and the Federal Alliance had signed a three-point agreement, which expressed commitment to amend the constitution to address demands of the agitating forces.

Speaking at an interaction organised at Reporters Club here today, Thakur said Madhes and Madhesis had played a historic role in Nepal’s nation building  and yet the rulers lacked seriousness and honesty to address issues raised by Madhesis.

“We will not take part unless our issues are addressed,” he said.  Thakur said if the state used force to hold local polls as it did during the promulgation of the constitution, the situation might turn worse.

He said a revised constitution amendment bill should be passed to address issues related to provincial boundaries, citizenship, language and representation in the Upper House of the Parliament.

Thakur said report of the Local Bodies Restructuring Commission must ensure that there are local levels in proportion to population of Madhes.

“How can we accept 35 per cent local levels in Madhes, which has over 51 per cent population?” he wondered, “It is not that only Madhesis are opposing the LBRC’s report. People in the hill regions are also opposing it.”

Thakur said fewer local levels in Madhes would affect budgetary allocation in the region.

In response to a question, the Madhesi leader said CPN-UML should not have launched its Mechi-Mahakali campaign now when Madhes was agitating against the local polls and when there was much anger (against the UML) in Madhes.

Thakur said the UDMF’s agitation would be peaceful. “But we cannot just greet those who come with sticks to attack us,” Thakur said when asked if the UDMF would retaliate against UML during its  Mechi-Mahakali campaign. The Madhesi leader also said that the UDMF constituents would discuss withdrawing support to the government.