Cautious optimism surrounds dialogueTalks between the Madhes-based parties and three major parties are likely to resume in Kathmandu on Thursday.
Following a series of discussions of top leaders of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha with the Indian establishment and leaders of various political parties in New Delhi, talks between the Madhes-based parties and three major parties are likely to resume in Kathmandu on Thursday.
But there is a cautious optimism.
While the government seems hopeful of striking a deal, the Morcha still seems to be harbouring some doubts about an early agreement.
“The government is hopeful of striking a deal with the Madhes-based parties,” said Prime Minister KP Oli’s Chief Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal. In their efforts to assuage the concerns of the Madhes-based parties, the coalition partners—CPN-UML and the UCPN (M)—and the main opposition Nepali Congress have decided to expedite the constitution amendment process. The ruling and opposition parties have also agreed to express their political commitment to settle the issues related to demarcation with the target of resolving them through an all-party mechanism in three months. For this, the Morcha has been urged to call off their protests in the Tarai.
But SLMM leaders told the Post in New Delhi that they would not withdraw their protests until “the government comes up with a concrete proposal and a result-oriented action plan”. While talking to various leaders and the Indian establishment, including Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishnakar, SLMM leaders had taken serious exception to the proposal floated by the government, saying: “That does not address our concerns.” They even refused to buy the government’s three-point proposal as “the political roadmap” for resolving the crisis. “Madhesi Morcha doesn’t agree with the formula prepared by the major parties,” Rajendra Mahato of Sadbhawana Party told the Post in Delhi. “This is not a common proposal as it is being publicised. We cannot accept this formula as it calls for settling state boundary issues in three months,” he said, adding: “For us, it’s now or never.” On Wednesday, before wrapping up their Delhi visit, Morcha leaders met Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Ram Madhav. Mahantha Thakur of Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party said the Morcha would sit for talks with the major parties and try to find a solution through dialogue.
Sadbhawana Party leader Laxman Lal Karna in Kathmandu said he was yet to talk to key leaders about the proposal floated by the government.
Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav and TMLP Chairman Thakur returned from Delhi on Wednesday evening.
Mahato and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Chairman Mahendra Raya Yadav will stay in Delhi for a couple of more days for health check up.
A government source, however, told the Post that even Indian leaders and officials had told the SLMM leaders to follow the roadmap prepared by the government and find a resolution to the crisis in Nepal at the earliest.
While addressing Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian parliament on Monday, Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj had expressed hope that a solution could emerge within five-seven days. NC Spokesperson Dilendra Badu said his party was hoping that the SLMM would support the constitution amendment proposal. “If they have any reservations, we can discuss it,” said Badu.