Tarai parties seek tentative boundaries before federal commission

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 6, 2015-

At a time when three major parties Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) are preparing to form a commission to settle disputes over the demarcation of federal states, Madhes-based parties have said tentative boundaries of the provinces should be finalised now.

In a meeting between the 30-party alliance and the three parties held at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s official residence in Baluwatar on Saturday, the Tarai parties said that all the issues related to demarcation could not be entrusted to a new commission as proposed by the ruling parties. The Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik is positive about getting a panel to fix the state boundaries but other regional parties such as the Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party and the Tarai-Madhes Loktantrik Party led by Mahanta Thakur want a tentative agreement on the borders while the parties reach a package deal on the agendas.

They say more details could be settled through a commission.

They asked the NC, UML and UCPN (Maoist) to focus talks on state boundaries instead of their number. According to Sadbhawana Party leader Laxman Lal Karna, all the Madhes-based parties sought the position of the main forces on the demarcation. “They did not have a clear answer,” said Karna.

The regional parties are against mixing Tarai districts with the hill districts to form a province.

They also made it clear that there should not be more than two provinces in the plains.

There are differences among the parties over whether Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali, Kanchanpur and Chitwan districts should remain in Madhes provinces. In the run up to the January 22 statute promulgation deadline, the parties had failed to find consensus on the federal set-up due to the row over the alignment of these districts.

Of late, there has not been substantial discussion among the parties on these districts. According to the Madhes-based parties, their key concern is the border of federal units, rather than forms of government, judiciary or electoral system.

According to Karna, they drew the attention of PM Koirala to the issue in cross-party negotiations. Regarding the demarcation in the hills, the Maoist and Janajati parties are of the view ethnic clusters should not be broken while federating the country.


Published: 07-06-2015 08:04

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