Madhes parties plan to forge broader allianceSamyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) and Sanghiya Loktantrik Morcha (SLM)—two major fronts spearheading separate protests in Tarai—have begun formal talks to forge a working alliance.
Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) and Sanghiya Loktantrik Morcha (SLM)—two major fronts spearheading separate protests in Tarai—have begun formal talks to forge a working alliance.
The planned alliance, which comes more than 40 days after the protest first started, is aimed at mounting more pressure on the three major parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—to fulfil their demands.
“Both sides have realised the need of forming a broader alliance. A committee has been formed to settle agendas and some technical issues,” said Ram Janam Chaudhary, general secretary of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik (MJF-L), who leads a three-member panel assigned to finalise the agendas and modality of the alliance.
Other members of the talks team are Keshav Jha of Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party (RMSP) and CP Singh of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Ganatantrik.
Similarly, SLMM talks team comprises Manish Suman, Govind Chaudhary and Ram Naresh Raya Yadav. Leaderships of both sides have also been holding discussion to resolve outstanding differences on the agendas and strategies of the protest.
The two fronts have so far taken completely different strategies over the protest and dialogue. Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led SLM has remained open for talks, while rest of the parties have been refusing to do so. There are also key differences between the fronts over the delineation of the state. SLMM want formation of two provinces along the Tarai plain, while Gachhadar and his allies are positive about keeping some disputed districts, including Jhapa, Chitwan and Kanchanpur in hill provinces. They are also open about splitting some other districts for the sake of consensus.
SLMM leaders said that efforts were also underway to include other fronts leading independent protest in the region. Matrika Yadav, Anil Jha and leaders of other fringe parties have been staging separate protests in the region.
“The plan is to incorporate all the agitating forces to strengthen our agendas,” said Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav. SLMM leaders including Yadav are currently in Rajbiraj for the meeting.
Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) Chairman Mahanta Thakur, Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato are scheduled to hold talks with Gachhadar on Saturday.
Leaders said the working alliance might not make significant difference on the ground, but could prove helpful in pressing the major parties on their agendas.
Prez asks Gachhadar to mediate to end Tarai crisis President Ram Baran Yadav has asked Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar to play a constructive role in ending the ongoing crisis in Tarai. During talks that took place at his official residence Sheetal Niwas in Maharajgunj, President Yadav told Gachhadar that the latter should act as a mediator when the major parties and agitating forces are divided.
“The President said to me that I should take initiative as before, so that nobody’s rights are curtailed,” Gachhadar told the Post, “I have urged the President to address our demands through amendments as another Constitution Assembly is not viable. The President has also asked the major three parties to prepare an environment for talks.”
Gachhadar had played a key role in bringing the three major parties together to fast track the stalled constitution writing process, but later walked away after major parties refused to act as per the past agreement.