Morcha discusses end to banda, border sit-ins

- Post Report, MORANG
Either all border points should be obstructed or the Birgunj route should be opened immediately, says Rajendra Mahato

Feb 5, 2016-Preparations are on within the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha to call off their border obstruction and revise the protest programme following a recent agreement with the government and the main opposition Nepali Congress to revive the taskforce to seek ways out of the political logjam.

Top leaders of the disgruntled Madhes-based parties are one on changing their form of stir but are divided over ending the border blockade. Morcha leaders said they would postpone for some time their sit-ins on the no-man’s-land between Nepal and India, which have hindered cross-border trade for the past four months, but continue other campaigns against some provisions of the newly adopted constitution.

“Discussion is under way in the leadership to withdraw the general strike and border obstruction for a specified period of time. But they will resume if our demands are not addressed within the timeframe,” said an SLMM leader. He added that the resumption of talks at the joint taskforce was a positive development.

He said the taskforce would try to reach a deal in a couple of days and the Morcha would change its protest programmes within a week.

A source at the SLMM leadership said that Mahantha Thakur and Upendra Yadav are in favour of shutting the Birgunj-Raxaul border point as a bargaining chip while trade from other customs points would be normal gradually.

However, Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato is in favour of opening the Birgunj border immediately. “Either all the border points should be obstructed or the Birgunj border should be opened immediately,” Mahato told the Post in Biratnagar on Thursday.

Mahato added that he had spoken to other Morcha leaders about resuming supplies via Birgunj-Raxaul as cargo movement through other trade points with India had eased.

“Opening of passages other than Birgunj has created a black market. Smuggled goods have reached Kathmandu, foiling our efforts to put pressure on the Capital,” said Mahato.

Published: 05-02-2016 08:35

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