Madhesi leaders softer on joining new govt

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 30, 2016-

Some Madhesi leaders have hinted at the possibility of joining the new government if the NC and the CPN (Maoist Centre) made a written commitment to addressing their demands pertaining to the constitution.

Madhesi leaders said they would join the government if the first and third largest parties forwarded a concrete proposal for resolving the Tarai crisis.

The parties, which had earlier cited the need to address their demands before they may join the government, are changing their tone. They now say that the prospect of them joining the new government is not far-fetched if the NC-Maoist alliance gives a credible assurance for the fulfilment of their demands.

Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato said that the agitating parties would support the government after seeing the proposal of the NC and the Maoist Centre.

“They have not yet approached us seeking our support for a new government,” Mahato said at a press conference on Friday. He added that they would seek a clear position of the NC and the Maoists on their 11-point demand that includes revision to the federal boundaries.

On Thursday, Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Madhesi and Janajati parties protesting against the constitution, said it would take “appropriate decisions” on joining the government at the right time. In a statement, Gathabandhan Spokesperson Om Gurung had said it was too early to take any decision on the matter.

Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Co-chair Rajendra Shrestha said the Gathabandhan allies were in a “wait and see” mode. The allies would take a joint decision in response to the political developments.

“Our agendas are more important to us at the moment than being involved in government formation. So we would make sure that our demands are not compromised before joining the government,” said Shrestha.

Many Gathabandhan allies, mainly the parties under the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, have stood in favour of joining the government “after striking a symbolic deal on the remaining demands including redrawing of the federal boundaries”.

Madhesi leaders are said to be under pressure from the Birgunj-based business community, which is unhappy with the regional parties for not doing enough to provide compensation for the loss incurred during the five-month long border blockade.

Published: 30-07-2016 08:58

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