‘Follow roadmap with specific action plan’

  • india’s advice to visiting madhesi leaders
- Devendra Bhattarai, New Delhi

Dec 7, 2015-

India has urged top leaders of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha who are on a Delhi visit to move forward on a “roadmap with specific action plan” to resolve the prolonged Tarai crisis.

Organising a dinner meeting at the Hyderabad House on Sunday, Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj told the visiting Madhesi leaders that India was always in favour of an inclusive Nepal.

“We want to express our concerns over the ongoing Madhes agitation in the bordering areas and inclusive democracy [in Nepal],” a diplomatic source quoted Swaraj as saying. She told the Tarai leaders that India wanted to listen to their concerns collectively on resolving the political standoff in Nepal.

SLMM leaders Mahantha Thakur, Upendra Yadav, Rajendra Mahato and Mahendra Raya Yadav arrived in New Delhi on Sunday morning. During the meeting, the leaders expressed their resentment that they were often branded “pro-India” in Nepal for speaking for the rights of the Madhesi people.

Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup and joint secretary and Nepal desk chief Abhay Thakur attended the dinner that lasted for about two hours.

Talking to Nationalist Congress Party leader DP Tripathi earlier, the Madhesi leaders said the ruling and major parties in Nepal had tried to weaken the Tarai agitation by “linking the country’s internal problems with New Delhi”.

“Regarding constitution amendment, we talked about two points—state delineation and the issue of citizenship,” Tripathi told the Post. He said he had advised the visiting leaders to move forward on a roadmap through dialogue and consensus.

Morcha leaders also met Indian National Congress leader Karan Singh, Janata Dal United leader Sharad Yadav and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury.

The diplomatic source said Delhi’s effort was to prepare a roadmap with a specific action plan regarding the alignment of Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts in federal restructuring, and to reach an agreement for resolving all the disputes by forming a political committee, with constitutional recognition, within three months.

Morcha leaders did not talk formally about their meeting. However, they said it was pointless to blame India for the obstruction of supplies to Nepal.

The four leaders are likely to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening. They are also scheduled to take part in a discussion organised by the Observer Research Foundation on Tuesday.

Published: 07-12-2015 08:06

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