Representatives of the government and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on Sunday assigned Law Minister Agni Kharel and Lal Babu Yadav, vice-president of Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal, to oversee the implementation of the non-political demands of the agitating groups.
The government has also agreed to initiate the process to amend the constitution in order to address the political demands of the Tarai parties except for a revision to the federal set-up. But it remains unclear how long the amendment process will take.
Ram Janam Chaudhary, minister without portfolio, said the committee will act as a coordinating mechanism to address the concerns of the protesters without delay.
As per the understanding, the government will promptly ensure compensation to families of the deceased protesters, recognise those killed as martyrs and withdraw charges against protesters arrested during the agitation, and remove armed forces from the Tarai districts.
Earlier, three major parties had agreed to take steps to address some of these concerns. “The problem was in proper implementation due to lack of coordination between the agitating parties and the government. Coordinated efforts will help the state mechanism deliver on its promises,” said Chaudhary.
According to Chaudhary, both the sides have agreed to meet on Thursday to discuss further the main demand of the Madhes-based parties—redrawing the federal boundaries.
Hridayesh Tripathi, vice-chairman of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, said the government team was for getting the proposed federal commission to work on revising the federal structure. But Madhesi leaders said they were in favour of a deal on all the disputed issues.
“We hope PM KP Sharma Oli will agree to changing the state boundaries to address our concerns,” Tripathi said. The government team also urged the Morcha to withdraw, or change the form of, its demonstration at the border to allow the import of essential commodities from India. It argued that the “unofficial blockade” imposed by India citing unrest on the Nepal-India border was creating hardships all over the country.
“We clarified that we will withdraw our protests once our demands are met,” said Tripathi.