Kathmandu, December 25
Unified CPN-Maoist Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal intensified his efforts to end the standoff between the major parties/government and the agitating Untied Democratic Madhesi Front.
He met Nepali Congress leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula, CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders Mahantha Thakur and Upendra Yadav separately today in an attempt to forge consensus on the constitutional issues.
Thakur said Dahal told him to withdraw the ongoing agitation and seek negotiated settlement of issues but he rejected his proposal. “As far as the issues of boundaries are concerned, our position is consistent.
We want a package deal on our 11-point demands,” Thakur said. On the question of provincial boundaries, Dahal proposed to settle the issue through a political mechanism within three months.
Thakur said if the major parties did not change the language of the constitution amendment bill to the satisfaction of the front, it would continue to oppose the bill in the Parliament.
Thakur said he told Dahal that NC leaders had assured the UDMF that they would come up with their views on the language of the constitution amendment bill in two days but two days had already passed.
Thakur said the major parties, particularly the NC, had assured the Madhesi leaders that it would table the constitution amendment bill only after consulting them, but the largest party did not keep its word.
“We were again told that the discussion on the bill would proceed only after addressing our concerns, but it seems that the major parties are trying to initiate debate in the Parliament on the bill while we protest. This is not fair,” he said.
Thakur said he told Dahal that the government was cracking down on the agitators and it was up to the government and the major parties whether they wanted to suppress the agitation or resolve the crisis by addressing UDMF demands through dialogue and constitutional means.
Dahal invited Thakur for formal talks tomorrow and told him that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli would also be attending the talks.
A version of this article appears in print on December 26, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.