No festive respite from banda: MorchaThe Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has ruled out the possibility of withdrawing its agitation but said that plans are afoot to ease vehicular movement during Dashain.
The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has ruled out the possibility of withdrawing its agitation but said that plans are afoot to ease vehicular movement during Dashain.
SLMM leaders said the central leadership has authorised district coordination committees to decide whether to continue with the ongoing protest or make changes to the programme.
“We have asked friends in the district to use their own discretion to decide what to do during Dashain. They are free to make decisions that best suit the situation on the ground,” said Hridayesh Tripathi, a leader of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik party. SLMM leaders said vehicles would be allowed on the major highways during the festival.
Morcha leaders, however, said demonstrations at major border routes would continue unless their demands are met.
SLMM leaders are under pressure from several quarters to withdraw or relax protests during the festive season. But they have not taken any decision fearing backlash from their constituencies and other agitating parties.
Many Madhesi fronts that have no representation in Parliament but are actively engaged in protests are campaigning against the Morcha leadership following its participation in the prime minister election in the House.
“We have faced severe criticism from the public for voting for Sushil Koirala though it was a tactical decision. So we don’t want to take another decision that further infuriates the public,” said a Sadbhawana Party leader.
Protesters affiliated with the Tharuhat/Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee have also directed their district committee to ease the banda in Kailali for a few days.
The private sector, civil society and rights groups have been pressing both the major parties and agitating groups to ease life crippled by the two-month long banda and blockade.
The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industry and Nepal Chamber of Commerce have been making repeated requests to Morcha leaders to withdraw the border obstruction.