UML needs to be proactive to end Tarai unrest: UCPN-Maoist

Kathmandu, December 30

The Nepali Congress and the Unified CPN-Maoist are miffed at the CPN-UML for not playing a proactive role to end the 100-day old Tarai unrest.

NC negotiator Mahesh Acharya said the UML should play a proactive role to end the Tarai unrest, but Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was not doing the same. “Talks are not happening due to UML’s indifference,” he said and added that NC top leaders were touring districts to celebrate National Reconciliation Day but would intensify their efforts for talks after Friday when leaders return to the capital.

Acharya said his party took the initiative to hold talks with the United Democratic Madhesi Front and narrowed down differences. “I think an agreement is possible on the constitution amendment bill and even on provincial boundaries; UDMF is ready to wait but they want a guarantee that provincial boundaries will be changed,” Acharya said.

He said his party had asked the UDMF to take part in the debate on the constitution amendment bill but even if they did not take part, their concerns could be addressed from among the amendments to the bill registered by the lawmakers and also during the debate in the parliamentary panel.

UCPN-Maosit leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said he regretted that the talks between the major parties and the UDMF were not happening. “Major parties and the government should intensify their efforts to seek a negotiated settlement to resolve the Tarai unrest,” he added.

A UCPN-M source said the UML was proving to be the stumbling block to a negotiated settlement to end the Tarai unrest.

“I don’t think that this government will resolve the Tarai unrest,” the source added.

Senior Vice-chair of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Hridayesh Tripathi said the major parties were not at all serious about finding a negotiated settlement of UDMF demands.

He said the front had no plan to lift or ease blockade at border entry points from January 4, as reported in certain media quoting TMDP Chair Mahantha Thakur. “Media misquoted Thakur and he has already clarified today.

We have no plan to withdraw border blockade till our demands are met,” Tripathi said and added that the UDMF was likely to announce fresh protest programme and seek the participation of women and students as well after January 4.

The Madhesi leader said the major parties had assured them last week that they would prepare a common stance vis-à-vis UDMF’s 11-point demand but did not fulfil their promise.

Prime Minister’s Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal, however, said the UML or the government should not be blamed for stalemate in negotiation, as the government had already entrusted UCPN-M Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal with the task of forging consensus with the UDMF.

“The government is prolonging the debate on the constitution amendment bill with a view to forging consensus with the UDMF on the bill,” Rimal said and added that the government expected the agitating forces to give their views on the Bill in the parliament.