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  Maoists, NC serenade Madhesi parties  
 

REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, July 25: In an effort to garner majority support for their respective prime ministerial candidates, UCPN (Maoist) and Nepali Congress on Sunday held separate parleys with the four Madhes-based parties.

The Maoists and NC held separate parleys with Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic, MPRF, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) and Sadbhawana Party in Singha Durbar in order to arrive at consensus on demands put forth by the Madhes-based parties in a bid to garner support for the formation of the new government.

The meeting between the Maoist and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), the alliance of the Madhesi parties, ended inconclusively on Sunday due to the latter´s rigid stance.

The leaders involved in the talks, however, said they have agreed on most issues raised by the UDMF and will hold another round of talks, most likely on Monday, to iron out the differences.

“We put forward our views on the demands raised by the Madhesi parties. We still have differences. We will sit for another rounds of talks as they have asked us to present our views in writing,” said Maoist vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha after the meeting.

According to the leaders present in the talks, UDMF and the Maoists differed on three important issues -- single autonomous Madhes Pradesh, pluralism in the new constitution and group recruitment of Madhesis in the state security forces, including the Nepal Army (NA).



The Maoists had stated that they support the UDMF demand for an autonomous province, but there cannot be only one province in the Tarai. The Maoists also stated that they cannot accept the concept of pluralism as understood in common parlance and the group recruitment of the Madhesis in the army.

Shrestha said that the meeting was positive. “We could not reach a conclusion today. We will hold further talks,” he said.

Co-chair of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (MPRF) JP Gupta said that they have agreed on most issues and will hold further dialogues to strike a deal.

Though the leaders said the talks ended on a positive note on Sunday, the talks between NC and the Madhesi parties also failed to yield any results.

Talking to media persons, NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said the Madhesi parties have sought written commitment on their demands from NC as a condition for their support to Ram Chandra Poudel in the prime ministerial voting on August 2. “The talks ended on a positive note,” said KC, adding, they were yet to reach a decision.

KC complained of problems in the ´definition´ and ´interpretation´ of some of the demands put forth by the Madhesi parties.



Among other things, the Madhesi parties have demanded group entry of Madhesis in the national army on proportional basis, guarantee of Madhesi autonomous states, withdrawal of the decision to form State Restructuring Commission and guarantee of basic democratic values, including pluralism, press freedom, human rights in the concept paper publicized on Friday.

The Madhesi parties are positive about the idea of democratic alliance put forth by the NC leaders. They suggested the NC to secure support of the CPN-UML as the latter´s support is essential for the NC to lead the government.

“Though we need further discussion on some of the issues we are hopeful that the Madhesi parties will support our candidate since they uphold democratic values and are also partners in the current democratic alliance,” added KC.

 
Published on 2010-07-25 22:00:37
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Maoists, NC Serenade Madhesi Parties
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