Morcha to hold demonstrations in Tarai on Feb 5

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2017-The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, on Saturday decided to hold mass demonstrations at the headquarters of Tarai districts on February 5, as part of its plan to build pressure on the government to implement the three-point agreement it had signed on August 3—the day Pushpa Kamal Dahal was elected the prime minister.

As per the three-point agreement, the Morcha had extended support to the Maoist Centre-Nepali Congress alliance to elect Dahal as the prime minister. In return, Dahal had promised to address the Morcha’s concerns through an amendment to the constitution. 

But a constitution amendment bill, which was tabled in Parliament on January 8, is currently in a state of limbo, as the main opposition has objected to it and the Madhes-based parties themselves 

have expressed reservations about the content and demanding a revision. 

Amid this, the government’s plan to announce dates for local elections has set Madhesi leaders’ teeth on edge. According to Keshav Jha, general secretary of Rastriya Madhes Sadbhawana Party, a constituent of the SLMM, leaders on Saturday “took a practical decision” of holding demonstrations at the headquarters of Tarai districts on February 5. 

The government’s silence on the constitution amendment bill has irked the Morcha no end. 

The governing Maoist Centre and the Nepali Congress earlier had reached an agreement with the Morcha to form a taskforce to revise the amendment proposal.

The taskforce includes NC leader and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak, Maoist Centre leader Barshaman Pun and Laxman Lal Karna of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, a key constituent of the Morcha.

The taskforce held discussions on Thursday, but only to fail to find a point of compromise. 

The next meeting of the taskforce has been scheduled for Tuesday. 

PM Dahal’s public statements of late that “an agreement has been reached among all parties” for holding local elections has also left the Morcha leaders seething, as they do not want local elections until issues related to the constitution amendment proposal is settled. 

According to Morcha leaders, “decisive talks” will be held with PM Dahal after February 5 only. 

The Morcha has also objected to the report of the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC). 

Published: 29-01-2017 07:57

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