UDMF likely to ease protests

Kathmandu, October 13

Agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front today said its two-month old protests would continue until its demands were met. It, however, hinted at relaxing protest programmes, other than blockade on Nepal-India border, during the festive season — Dashain, Tihar and Chhath.

In a press meet held after the UDMF meeting at the party headquarters of the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, UDMF leaders hinted at relaxing curbs on transport and businesses during the festive times. UDMF, however, did not make the decision public. Asked about relaxing the protests during the festivals, Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur said, “We do not have any plan to relax the protests for the festivals. If people demand that we can consider it.”

UDMF stated the front constituents would attend the Parliament and take part in the election of President, Vice-president, Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

“The transformed Parliament is the continuation of the Constituent Assembly formed under the provision of Interim Constitution 2007 and not the new constitution. We had boycotted CA meetings and not the Parliament. We took part in the prime ministerial voting, as the Parliament is not formed as per the new constitution but was transformed in accordance with a provision of the Interim Constitution. It doesn’t mean we accepted the new constitution. We will accept it only when our concerns are addressed either through rewriting or amending the new constitution,” said Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chairperson Upendra Yadav.

UDMF stated it voted in the election of prime minister to oppose the coalition of ultra-leftists, nationalists and rightist pro-monarchists. “Although both the prime ministerial candidates had similar stance on the demands of oppressed groups, it was our compulsion to stand against the unholy alliance,” said a joint statement signed by FSFN Chair Yadav, TMDP Chair Mahantha Thakur, Sadbhawana Party Co-Chair Laxman Lal Karna and TMDP Nepal Chair Mahendra Ray Yadav. He accused the MJF-D led by Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as power-hungry. “It is a positive fallout of our protests that the signatories of 16-point agreement are now a divided house. We urge those in power to implement the past agreements reached with us,” added the UDMF said.