Eight provinces could be a solution, says MJF-D Chair Gachhadar
Kathmandu, September 8
Several Tarai-based parties, including Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic, today boycotted the constitution drafting process.
Gachhadar, who claims to have facilitated the 16-point agreement between the four major parties, including MJF-D, that led the nation towards drafting new constitution, handed over a protest letter to Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang, stating that the party would boycott the constitution drafting process from today.
“I have told CA chairman to try and address the concerns of the agitating parties,” he said following his meeting with Nembang, adding that there was still room for addressing their concerns. “Nembang said he would do his best. He also requested me to continue my efforts for the same.”
Gachhadar said the constitution should be acceptable to maximum number of Nepali people but 13.5 million people were on the streets, protesting the draft constitution.“The Tarai-Madhes has turned into a battlefield. Constitution drafted without addressing concerns of such a vast population can’t lead to sustainable peace and stability in the country,” he said.
On possible solution to the problem, he said the problem was the result of deviation from the eight-province model agreed upon in the 16-point pact. “Issues of Madhes and Indigenous nationalities can’t be addressed through seven-province model,” he said adding that eight provinces could be one option.
The only CA member of the Federal Democratic National Forum-Tharuhat — Rukmini Chaudhary — also boycotted the constitution drafting process after speaking at the CA today. She said she would not take part in the clause-wise discussions though she had registered an amendment proposal.
The United Democratic Madhesi Front also boycotted the constitution drafting process after speaking at the CA today. On behalf of the UDMF, Mahendra Raya Yadav of Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party announced the front’s decision to boycott the CA process.
According to Nembang, Sudarshan Kuinkel, Dimple Kumari Jha of Anil Jha-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party and Dharmendra Kumar Sah Teli, chief whip of the National Madhes Socialist Party led by Sharat Singh Bhandari, separately handed over protest letters to Nembang and conveyed to him that they would boycott the constitution drafting process.
On Sunday, Tharuhat Tarai Party Nepal had decided to boycott all the processes of the CA, accusing the three-party ‘syndicate’ of ignoring the voices raised by the agitators in different parts of the country demanding appropriate demarcation of the provinces.
A version of this article appears in print on September 09, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.