Kathmandu, February 18

On the eve of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s maiden India visit, the government today decided to form an 11-member political committee to settle the issues of demarcation of Pradeshes as demanded by the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF).

Addressing the parliament last Tuesday Prime Minister Oli had said a political committee would be formed to settle the issues of demarcation before he left for India.

Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai said the political committee has been formed under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa.

Rai said the committee would be get all its members through political consensus among all parties including the agitating UDMF.

Following the last cabinet meeting held at the PM’s official residence in Baluwatar this evening before the PM’s India visit, Minister for General Administration Rekha Sharma said the cabinet had decided to include representatives of opposition parties including the main opposition party Nepali Congress in the political committee.

Rai said the committee would develop Terms of Reference as soon as it got final shape. It has been allotted three-month’s time to submit its final report on demarcation of Pradeshes.

Asked about the agendas of the PM’s India visit, Rai said the meeting did not discuss the agendas today.

Earlier, Prime Minister Oli had called a meeting of High Level Political Coordination Committee led by Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Baluwatar, where the cabinet meeting was going on.

Following the meeting, UCPN-M Chairman Dahal said Oli had consulted the HLPCC and its top leaders regarding formation of the political committee to settle the demarcation issue.

Dahal said the leaders agreed to form the political committee by including the agitating parties. “Since the government is well aware of the issues the agitating parties have been raising, the leaders decided to form a political committee that would also be acceptable to them,” Dahal said, adding that the cabinet would take a concrete decision regarding formation of the political committee.

Earlier today, talks held between the task forces of the major three parties and the agitating UDMF could not reach a conclusion regarding the terms of reference of the political committee to be formed to settle the issues of the demarcation of Pradeshes.