HLPCC Chief Dahal tells the government to form a mechanism on the basis of consensus before the prime minister embarks on his visit to India, but if that was not possible then the mechanism should be formed leaving space for the agitating parties to join in later
Kathmandu, February 17
The task forces of the big three political parties and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front today discussed the ToR of the political mechanism to be formed to revise provincial boundaries, but failed to reach agreement.
According to Sadbhawana Party Co-chair Laxman Lal Karna, the meeting could not discuss issues in detail as Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal, who represents the CPN-UML in the major parties’ task force, had to leave the meeting mid-way as he had some urgent work to attend to.
The next meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.
Senior leader of Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Ram Naresh Ray said the UDMF taskforce members put forth their views on the UDMF’s 11-point demand and sought a package deal.
However, members of the taskforce of the major parties were concerned only with forming a political mechanism.
According to Ray, the UDMF taskforce members sought legal and credible validity for the ToR.
They also said the ToR must state that the provincial boundaries will be changed in the Tarai Madhes as per the spirit of the Madhes movement and the reports of the erstwhile State Restructuring Commission and the thematic committee of the first Constituent Assembly.
Ray said that the negotiator of the major parties insisted that the word ‘mountains and hills’ ought to also be stated along with the word ‘Tarai Madhes’ while revising the provincial boundaries.
According to Ray, UDMF negotiators, however, told the major parties that there should only be the term ‘Tarai Madhes,’ because revision of the seven-province model was sought only by the people of the Tarai Madhes through a movement and not by the people of hills and mountains.
Ray said the major parties also talked of settling the question of provincial boundaries within three months, but the United Democratic Madhesi Front did not accept that proposal.
Representative of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Mangal Siddhi Manandhar, who was among the UDMF taskforce members, said the major parties appeared to agree on stating that revision of provincial boundaries would be done on the basis of reports of the erstwhile State Restructuring Commission and the thematic committee of the first Constituent Assembly.
Ray said if the government wanted to form a political mechanism before the prime minister embarked on his visit to India on Friday, there was very little time for discussion.
“I personally believe that if the major parties sincerely try to iron out differences with the agitating UDMF and forms a political mechanism, they can do it in one day,” he said.
Meanwhile a meeting of Unified CPN-Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahl-led High Level Political Coordination Committee today reached the conclusion that the political mechanism should be formed on the basis of consensus before the prime minister embarked on his India visit.
However, if that was not possible, then the government should form a mechanism by leaving space for the agitating parties to join later, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare CP Mainali.
A version of this article appears in print on February 18, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.