KATHMANDU, April 19: Various Madhes-based parties on Thursday formed a Broader Madhesi Front (BMF) to press for their demands in the new constitution.
The newly formed BMF includes also the constituent parties of United Democratic Madhesi Front.
A meeting of the leaders of Madhes-based parties held under the chair of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (MPRF) Chairman Upendra Yadav also formed a cross-party Madhesi Lawmakers Group to exert pressure on the major political parties to incorporate their concerns in the new statute.
"We have decided to exert pressure on the parties to ensure federal democratic republic with Madhesi autonomous state in the new constitution," said Maoist Central Committee member Ram Rijhan Yadav, who is also the prime minister´s press advisor.
According to Co-chairman of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna, the meeting attended by lawmakers from various political parties decided to press their respective parties to address the concerns of Madhes in the new constitution. “We agreed that the constitution should guarantee an autonomous Madhes state,” he said.
A seven-point concept paper issued after the meeting has put forth various demands including guarantee of autonomous Madhes state with the right to self-determination, delineation of federal states based on identity, proportional representation of all groups of people in the state organs and equitable distribution of powers and natural resources.
BMF has maintained that the constitution should also address the citizenship problem in Madhes. The BMF has formed a 20-member steering committee to jointly raise the agenda of Madhes based parties in the Constituent Assembly and in other forums.