UDMF boycotts PM’s all-party meeting

Kathmandu, May 24

After the United Democratic Madhesi Front a constituent of the agitating Federal Alliance refused to join the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli this morning, the meeting ended without any conclusion.

Chairman of Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato said talks would not be necessary if the demands of the UDMF were implemented. He said UDMF would hold a meeting as soon as Federal Alliance Coordinator Upendra Yadav returned to Kathmandu and responded to the letter of PM Oli.

Mahato said the UDMF was against holding futile talks for the 37th time, as all the previous talks were a waste of time.

Later, while speaking at Reporters Club, Mahato said he was for amending the constitution and not rewriting it, as that would call for a new Constituent Assembly. He said even the UDMF had sought to amend some articles.

Chairman of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav, on the other hand, has been seeking rewriting of constitution. Yadav had said UMDF would not join the talks unless the government expressed commitment to rewrite the constitution.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Oli had sent a six-point invitation letter to the UDMF responding to the memorandum submitted by the UDMF on May 12.

Spokesperson for Federal Alliance Parshuram Tamang, however, said the government invited the UDMF with the intention of dividing and ruling. He said the FA had decided not to join the talks unless the government invited the FA instead of the UDMF.

During today’s all-party meeting, the coalition partners and the main opposition Nepali Congress party agreed to address the demands of the agitating Federal Alliance through talks.

Following the meeting held at Singha Durbar today, NC leader Mahesh Acharya said the meeting ended inconclusively because of the absence of the agitating UDMF. He said NC suggested that the government should continue with official and unofficial talks with the agitating parties.

The parties, including the main opposition party, discussed ways to adopt flexibility while addressing the demands of disgruntled parties.

NC leader Acharya said his party was ready to invite the agitating parties for talks and encourage them to forge consensus.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Kharel said the demands of agitating parties would be addressed through talks and the government would call another meeting soon.

Leader of the CPN Maoist Centre Ram Bahadur Thapa said the all-party meeting held in the absence of Federal Alliance reached the conclusion that problems could be resolved through discussion after holding a meeting again.

Those present in today’s meeting were Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Matrika Yadav from the CPN Maoist Centre and Sher Bahadur Deuba, Ramchandra Paudel and Mahesh Acharya from the NC.

Deputy PMs Bijaya Gachhadar, Bhim Rawal, CP Mainali and Chitra Bahadur KC were also present in the meeting.

‘Call for talks positive’

KATHMANDU: Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato said on Tuesday that the recent call for talks by the prime minister was a positive development but pointed out that it was not sufficient.

Addressing an interaction in Reporters Club soon after the all-party meeting, which the United Democratic Madhesi Front boycotted, Mahato said the UDMF was ready to sit for talks if the government responded to its 11-point demand.

Regarding Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav’s objection to the letter that the PM sent to the UDMF on Monday, Mahato said, “The PM’s letter does not divide and rule. UDMF has its own existence.”