Kathmandu, November 6
After the Birgunj incident marred the ongoing talks between the government and agitating Tarai-Madhes parties, the top leaders of coalition parties have taken the initiative to resume talks.
Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also coordinator of the High-level Political Coordination Committee, has taken the initiative and held informal talks with the leaders of agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front.
Dahal had yesterday reached the residence of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur and discussed ways to resolve the problem.
During the meeting, Thakur had urged Dahal to take initiative to resolve the ongoing problem in the Madhes.
Dahal also telephoned other Madhesi leaders including Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav.
Thakur told Dahal the government had begun suppressing agitators instead of resuming talks. In response, Dahal told Thakur that they were not for suppressing the agitation, but were trying to resolve the issues through dialogue.
Home Minister Shakti Basnet said the government was planning to form a separate team of top leaders including from the main opposition party to hold serious dialogue with the agitating parties.
As soon as he returned from Geneva, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa called the agitating parties for dialogue.
Talking to reporters upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Thapa, who is also head of the government’s talks team, summoned the United Democratic Madhesi Front for talks.
Claiming that some of their demands had already been fulfilled and some would gradually be addressed while implementing the new constitution, he said that the government has already expressed commitment to fulfil some of their remaining demands. Thapa urged the UDMF to resolve problems through dialogue.
He also urged them not to prolong their struggle, but to sit for talks.
A member of the government talks team Minister for General Administration Rekha Sharma said the top leaders of the ruling coalition were engaged in internal discussion on ways to resolve the crisis. She said the government would soon hold dialogue with the agitating parties and resolve the problem.
Minister Sharma said the Birgunj incident had given rise to some problems, but things would be managed soon.
However, Laxman Lal Karna, a member of the UDMF talks team, said he was not aware of the call for dialogue. He said dialogue was not possible unless the government created a conducive environment by releasing all those arrested, withdrawing cases against protesters and lifting the ongoing prohibition order.
Meanwhile, UCPN-M Madhesi leaders today urged the party’s top leaders, including Chairman Dahal and Vice-chair Narayan Kaji Shrestha to resolve the problem soon.
Shrestha said Madhesi leaders of the party including Biswonath Sah, Ashok Jaiswal, Satya Narayan Bhagat and Devendra Patel urged the leaders to understand the gravity of the problem and seek a political solution. Dahal told the Madhesi leaders that he has taken the initiative to resolve the problem by creating a positive environment.
A version of this article appears in print on November 07, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.