CHITWAN, April 20: As the country is seriously debating federal structure, Tharu leaders and activists have gathered here to make a common position of their community on the number of states in the Tarai.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar on Friday inaugurated a two-day roundtable attended by the representatives of various Tharu organizations.
Coincidently the conference has been organized at a time when the parties are engaged in serious negotiations to resolve contentious issues of constitution making including federalism, and different ethnic communities coming forward with their position on federalism.
Inaugurating the conference, Gachchhadar urged the participants to come up with a practical solution on federal structure while stressing the need for unity between the Madheis and Tharus.
Gachchhadar was of the view that the federalism should be based on identity, population, geography, religion and culture.
"There should be at least three states in Madhesh," said Tharu leader Laxman Tharu, who had previsously demanded "One Tarai one Tharu State".
Another Tharu leader Raj Kumar Lekhi said the conference would take decision on carving a Tharu State based on identity and rights of the Tharu community. Tharu was of the view that there should be three to four states in the Tarai alone.