Kathmandu, May 27
The Federal Alliance today said it would hold talks with the government only if it were formally invited and its preconditions for talks met.
Spokesperson for National Madhes Socialist Party Keshav Jha, who was present at the alliance’s meeting today, said the alliance leaders decided that they would hold talks with the government only if they were formally invited and its three main conditions for talks fulfilled.
According to Jha, the government must provide treatment expenses to those who were injured during the protests, declare those killed during the protests as martyrs and withdraw charges against cadres of agitating forces who were falsely indicted.
Chair of Sanghiya Janajmukti Party Parshuram Tamang said the meeting also made it clear that there was no difference of opinion between the FA and the United Democratic Madhesi Front and both the outfits were supplementing each other in their crusade.
“The government spread a rumour that the FA did not accept the talks offer but the reality is the alliance has not received any formal invite yet,” he said. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had recently sent a formal invite to UDMF, a constituent of the FA.
According to Jha, the alliance leaders took note of the contents of letter printed by the media outlets that said the front’s demands had already been met. “If the government thinks that it has already fulfilled the agitating forces’ demands then there is no need for the government to hold talks,” Jha added.
The Prime Minister’s press advsier Pramod Dahal, however, said the Prime Minister had recently formally invited the UDMF for talks. He, however, said, “Nobody has officially written to the government informing of the existence of the Federal Alliance so the Prime Minister does not know of the existence of the alliance and its demands,” he added.
According to Jha, the meeting of the alliance also reviewed its ongoing Kathmandu centric protest and decided to prepare three-month protest programmes, which would be announced in Pokhara on May 30. T
he alliance would announce three-month protests programmes which would include relay hunger strike in front of Singh Durbar and in the district headquarters for a month, according to alliance sources.
The alliance also decided to prepare its provincial and district level structure in order to intensify protests in all districts.
Tamang said the alliance concluded that although there were some shortcomings, the ongoing protest programmes in Kathmandu were a success.
Jha said alliance leaders privately talked to United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders today and urged them not to speak anything that could give an impression of division within the alliance.
Recently UDMF leader Rajendra Mahato had said both the UDMF and the FA could hold talks with the government.
A version of this article appears in print on May 28, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.