Big 3 taskforce asked to draft ‘final deal text’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 15, 2016-

Chiefs of three major parties have entrusted their taskforce with the task of drafting “a text of a final agreement” for floating as an offer to the agitating Madhes-based parties so that a solution to ongoing political crisis can be found at the earliest. 

The taskforce comprises Nepali Congress leader Mahesh Acharya, UML Vice-Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Bhim Rawal and UCPN (M) leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara. 

Sources close to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said a meeting of the top leaders of the three parties on Thursday, which was also attended by taskforce members Acharya and Mahara, has authorised the taskforce to wrap up the negotiations to seal a deal before January 19.

The Parliament meeting has been postponed until January 19 in a bid to seek solution through dialogue.

Reciprocating to the government move of forming a taskforce comprising leaders of the three major parties, the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) too has formed a taskforce which has Hridayesh Tripathi of Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, Rajendra Shrestha of Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal and Ram Naresh Raya of Tarai Madhes Sadhbhawana Party as members, to carry the talks forward. 

A meeting between representatives of the major forces and the SLMM is scheduled for Friday when both sides are expected to produce “a tentative agreement” which will be finalised “at higher level through mutual consent”, said PM Oli’s Press Adviser Pramod Dahal. 

“We were planning to meet today, but it couldn’t happen due to lack of preparations on the part of major parties,” said Tripathi, vice-chair of Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party. During Thursday’s meeting, NC leader and taskforce member Acharya said that the two sides are inching closer to a deal on most of the contentious issues. 

The differences, according to Acharya, are on citizenship and terms and references of a to-be-formed political committee which will be responsible for addressing the demarcation row. 

The major parties’ taskforce has proposed letting the political committee resolve demarcation issues within three months, but leaders from the Madhesi Morcha have sought “political legitimacy” of the committee and assurances that their concerns related to provincial demarcation would be addressed. 

During Thursday’s meeting, NC President Sushil Koirala, PM Oli and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal discussed possible ways to bring the agitating Madhes-based parties on board. 

In the absence of a formal agreement, the constitution amendment process, which was initiated weeks ago, is currently on hold. 

Thakur leaving for Delhi

KATHMANDU: Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) Chairman Mahantha Thakur is scheduled to leave for New Delhi, India, on Sunday, for treatment. Thakur is expected to undergo an operation to remove a cyst from his left leg at the Gurgaon-based Medanta hospital. “I have an appointment for Monday. I might stay there for a few days as per doctors’ advice,” Thakur told the Post. Thakur’s visit, which takes place amid a 

long-drawn political standoff, is being viewed meaningfully. TMLP insiders said Thakur is also planning to meet Indian leaders. Thakur, however, said “nothing has been fixed yet”. (PR)

Published: 15-01-2016 08:26

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