Tarai parties’ nod to forwarding proposalsThe Madhes-centric parties have expressed their readiness to cooperate in forwarding the two amendment proposals registered in Parliament if the major parties make necessary changes to them.
The Madhes-centric parties have expressed their readiness to cooperate in forwarding the two amendment proposals registered in Parliament if the major parties make necessary changes to them. The regional parties, however, clarified that the protests would not stop without revising the federal boundaries.
The bills registered by the erstwhile Nepali Congress-led government guarantee inclusive and proportional representation of Madhesi communities in all state bodies and delimitation of electoral constituencies prioritising the population. However, Madhesi leaders have expressed reservations over some terms used in the proposals.
“It’s good that the major parties are planning to forward the proposals. We are not far from resolving the crisis if they take initiatives to end the demarcation dispute with similar spirit,” said Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur.
In informal discussion with leaders of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, the Nepali Congress and the UCPN (Maoist) have said they are ready to make necessary changes to the two bills. But they asked for some time to redraw the boundaries.
“Earlier, Maoist Chairman Prachanda was positive about settling the demarcation row together with other disputed issues of the constitution. Now three major parties are saying that it would take more time to address the demarcation issue,” said Thakur.
The UCPN (Maoist) had proposed a separate Tharuhat province in the West and including some parts of Sunsari in the Madhes province.
Madhesi leaders said the effort at amending the disputed constitutional clauses is a positive step, insisting however that it would not suffice to end the current stalemate. Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said the proposal tabled by the NC-led Cabinet was not acceptable as it “does not address the demands of the Tarai people”.
“Demarcation of federal boundaries is our bottom line. A deal on federalism is the only way to make the agreement acceptable to all the agitating parties,” Yadav told the Post. He alleged that three major parties were trying to overshadow the main issues by stressing other demands.
Yadav and Sadbhawana Party Co-chair Laxman Lal Karna had met UCPN (M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Dahal said he was working to address the concerns of the Tarai-based parties in a package.
Demographics of three districts
- 54.63 percent of people living in Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari are of Hill origin and Tharu, Muslims, Marwadi and Madhesi communities account for remaining 44.6 percent
- The population of people of Hill origin is significant in Jhapa compared to Morang and Sunsari
- In Morang, people of Hill origin and those from Madhesi communities are somewhat equally divided
- In Sunsari, people of Hill origin account for 43 percent