Decisive talks on Tarai crisis after Tihar

  • Both sides urged flexibility to resolve dispute
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 12, 2015-

After the ongoing negotiations failed to make any breakthrough, major parties have decided to form a negotiation team “at the highest level” to hold discussions with the agitating Madhesi and Tharu parties.

“A negotiation team comprising top leaders of major parties will be formed in order to seek a solution to the ongoing Madhes crisis,” said UML leader Pradeep Gyawali. “Key leaders will be assisted by second-rung leaders to prepare the ground for a decisive round of negotiations,” added Gyawali.

Without top leaders’ direct engagement with the agitating parties, negotiations conducted by the second-rung leaders have failed to make any breakthrough, as protests have continued in the Tarai regions for the last three months. The crisis on the ground has snowballed, resulting in disruption of essential supplies and pushing the country to the brink of humanitarian crisis.

Interlocutors of both the ruling and Madhes-based parties have also raised the issue of “a delegation of authority” during negotiations.   

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was under pressure from coalition partners, including UCPN (Maoist), Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik, to exhibit flexibility while dealing with the Tarai crisis. After reservations from these key partners, PM Oli is said to have postponed his address to the nation, which was scheduled for Tuesday.

The agitating Madhes-based parties and the main opposition Nepali Congress have also called upon top leaders to be part of the negotiation team to expedite efforts to find a solution to the current crisis.

A meeting of the top leaders after Tihar is expected to set the bottom line after which they plan to invite the agitating parties to the negotiating table.

UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and the main opposition NC are holding unofficial talks with the Madhes-based parties to find  a way out. The NC said it has also offered to mediate between the government and the agitating parties.

Officiating NC President Ram Chandra Poudel said on Wednesday that the NC was ready to facilitate the talks between the government and agitating Madhes-based parties. The NC is also pressing the government to move forward an amendment proposal, which was registered by the Sushil Koirala-led government, in order to address the demands of Madhes-based parties.

Published: 12-11-2015 08:21

More on this story

Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantirk) Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar has said that there will be negotiaton among top leaders to end the ongoing crisis in the Tarai.

Speaking at a programme in the Capital on Wednesday, Gachhadar said the government will unveil its bottom line regarding the demands of the agitating Madhes-based parties after Tihar.  “Top leaders of both sides will sit together to prepare a concrete proposal,” he said, adding there would not be a solution to the crisis if the demarcation of federal provinces is not revised.

Gachhadar joined the KP Oli-led government despite his grievances regarding province delineation. He is in favour of federating the Tarai into two provinces.  “There should be an all-party consensus to amend the constitution to address the demands of proportional inclusion, delineation of electoral constituencies on the basis of population and demarcation of federal provinces,” he said.

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