Kathmandu, November 16
With the major festivals of the country coming to an end, Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has started serious consultations focusing on ending the existing crisis in the country.
Following discussions with major stakeholders today, an official meeting of the ruling coalition, main opposition and the agitating parties has been scheduled for Wednesday 3:00pm, said Dahal’s personal secretary Chudamani Khadka.
At 9:00am today, Dahal called on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and discussed with him about resolving issues raised by agitating Madhes-based parties, in a package.
According to Khadka, Dahal’s proposal to resolve the issues of Madhes-based parties in a package without splitting the clusters and disputes on the districts to be finalised by the commission, was taken positively by PM Oli. Sources claimed that Dahal had tried to convince the ruling CPN-UML Chairman and PM Oli to include the southern plains of Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari in Pradesh 2 and Tharu clusters of Kailali in Pradesh 5.
At 2:00pm, Dahal met Chairman of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Mahantha Thakur and discussed with him the same proposal he had put forth with PM Oli. Khadka claimed that Thakur was also positive about the proposal.
Later at 4:30pm Dahal discussed with acting president of the main opposition party Nepali Congress Ramchandra Paudel the issues to be dealt with in the packagem including the boundaries of pradeshes.
Similarly, at 6:30pm, Dahal discussed the demands of the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front with Mahendra Raya Yadav.
All the four meetings that Dahal held today, Khadka claimed, were very positive.
Dahal had been discussing with different UDMF leaders informally during the festival holidays and he had created a conducive environment for building confidence among the agitating parties.
However, UCPN-M Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said NC and UML have finally agreed to take the demands of the agitating Madhesi forces seriously, but were yet to change their previous stances.
Claiming that his party’s agenda was close to that of UDMF, Shrestha said his party has been trying to convince the the UDMF citing that the economy of the country had fallen behind by years due to the blockade at the border points and the agitation in Tarai-Madhes, which had worsened in a way that nobody had ever imagined.
PM Oli had once again called the agitating parties for talks through his address to the nation expressing the government’s willingness to address their genuine demands.
A version of this article appears in print on November 17, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.