Task force level talks over: UDMF

Kathmandu, January 19

The task force of agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front today said all their efforts to resolve the Tarai crisis had gone in vain and therefore there was no significance of the task force.

“After the three major parties refused to accept the agreements reached with their task force yesterday the task force level talks are over,” said Hridayesh Tripathi, a member of the UDMF task force while addressing a press meet organised today at the party office of the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party.

Tripathi also expressed serious concern about the national unity, saying it could be in peril if the major parties failed to address their concerns.

Tripathi said talks could now be held only between the top leaders, as their task force had no authority to make any decision.

Another task force member and Co-Chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said they left the talks yesterday after the task force of major parties said the top leadership of the major parties had refused to accept the agreements reached with the UDMF task force.

Tripathi said the major parties were for delaying all other issues except the two included in the constitution amendment bill  proportionate inclusion and constituency delineation on the basis of population.

He said they were close to reaching a deal on several issues, including language, citizenship, representation in national assembly, duration of reviewing electoral constituencies and judiciary.

Karna said the Big III were not ready to touch the constitution and resolve the issues only through political agreement.

“They should tell us if not two provinces in Tarai-Madhes then how many,” he said, adding, “More than 57 people have sacrificed their lives, many have been injured and all these sacrifices cannot go in vain.”

Karna said the government had been rigid, while UDMF was being flexible.

Tripathi said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his party, CPN-UML, had been rigid and were against resolving the crisis.

He said the only issues the PM and his party were concerned about were withdrawal of fake cases, declaring those killed during agitation as martyrs, treatment of the injured and formation of a judicial commission to probe into violent incidents.

He said the UDMF wanted to legitimise the decisions of the political mechanism and proposed to put them on the schedule of the constitution and their task force was even ready to get the political mechanism’s decisions endorsed through the Parliament.

But yesterday their task force members started talking in a wishy washy manner, he added.