Clear framework, ToR key to deal: MorchaNegotiators from Madhes-based parties have said that a deal on federal boundaries would largely depend on the clarity on the framework and terms of references of the proposed political mechanism.
Negotiators from Madhes-based parties have said that a deal on federal boundaries would largely depend on the clarity on the framework and terms of references of the proposed political mechanism.
The two sides have agreed in principle to revise the boundaries through the proposed political mechanism within three months taking into account the past reports and recommendations on the state restructuring.
“There are still differences on a wide range of issues, including legality, jurisdiction and outline of the demarcation. There could be a good deal if they make clear pledges on these issues. But there won’t be any deal if their position remains unchanged,” said Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur. Taskforce members from the major parties have proposed to sit in next round of discussion after consultations with top leaders.
Thakur said there are considerable differences on the terms of references and framework of the agreement. The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Tarai-centric parties, has said that the proposed mechanism should be included in the schedule of the constitution, outlining its structure, work and responsibilities.
In its official demand, the Morcha has also asked to mention two provinces in the southern plains. But senior Morcha leaders said they are seeking a deal that guarantees at least one more province in the Tarai.
However, three major parties have ruled out possibilities of carving two provinces along the Tarai plains. They have instead proposed to give a broader legitimacy to the proposed mechanism by endorsing it through Parliament. They said that the mechanism would use the reports prepared by the first Constituent Assembly on the state restructuring and past accord with various groups as reference to revise the boundaries.
Close aides of Prime Minister KP Oli said the government is willing to show some flexibility on the issues for a swift deal.
“PM is trying to reach a settlement with Morcha before Tuesday. He would address the Legislature-Parliament about his India visit,” said Bishnu Rimal, chief political advisor to PM Oli. Rimal said that the mechanism would be formed only after taking the Madhesi parties into confidence.
“We unilaterally amended the constitution in their silent support. But the demarcation row would be resolved in direct support and involvement of Morcha leaders,” said Rimal.