UDMF rejects Nepali Congress proposal

Kathmandu, December 19

United Democratic Madhesi Front, which has been agitating against the provisions of the new constitution, rejected the Nepali Congress’ proposal to discuss the Constitution Amendment Bill now and other issues afterwards.

In an informal meeting with top NC leaders here today, chairpersons of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav and Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Mahantha Thakur rejected the main opposition’s proposal of dealing with the Constitution Amendment Bill first and all other issues later, said a UDMF source.

Senior Vice Chair of TMDP Brikhesh Chandra Lal told THT that it was not a dialogue but merely consultation and they exchanged views on the current political issues. He added that the discussions were positive. “We exchanged views and our discussion was positive but we did not reach any conclusion,” Lal added.

According to a UDMF source, Thakur and Yadav told NC leaders they wanted resolution of their 11-point demand in a package and the NC, being the main opposition, should play a more active role in resolving political problems. The source added that Madhesi leaders also told NC leaders the front would be ready for dialogue if meaningful talks were to be held, otherwise, they would be forced to intensify their agitation.

According to Lal, the NC leaders told UDMF top guns the agitation was having a devastating impact and they should find an amicable solution.

The NC leaders offered to discuss the contents of the Constitution Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament a few days ago.

UDMF has been saying the bill is not enough to address the concerns of agitating forces.

NC negotiator Mahesh Acharya said the NC leaders assured the UDMF that they were ready to change the Constitution Amendment Bill to incorporate the concerns of the front and urged them to actively take part in the discussions within and outside Parliament.

“We told the Madhesi leaders that the Constitution Amendment Bill alone could not fulfil their demands, but we would continue with negotiation on other issues,” Acharya told THT.

NC leaders also assured the Madhesi leaders that they were ready to discuss what could be incorporated in the Constitution Amendment Bill to make it acceptable to the agitating Madhesi front.

The NC leaders said that there would be enough time to change the Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament as well as in the parliamentary panel.

UDMF was represented by Thakur, Yadav and Lal while the NC side was represented by party President Sushil Koirala, Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel, General Secretary Prakash Man Singh and lawmaker Mahesh Acharya.