BIRATNAGAR, May 2: Maoist leaders of Kochila State Committee from Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa districts have demanded a separate state incorporating the three Tarai districts east of Koshi river, going against the 10-state federal structure proposed by Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Stating that the 10-state model would not be acceptable to them, the leaders warned Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is also a vice-chairman of the Maoist party, of bloodshed if a separate state was not formed for the three districts that lie east of Koshi.
The Kochila State Committee leaders said so during an informal meeting with the prime minister in Biratnagar on Tuesday.
The 10-state model proposed by the Maoists envisages a Madhes Birat state incorporating even those districts in Tarai that lie west of Koshi up to Parsa.
The leaders also told the prime minister that the name of the proposed state could be decided later and that its capital should be Biratnagar.
“We have told the prime minister that we do not subscribe to the party´s proposal,” acting Maoist incharge in Morang Ganesh Upreti said. “We are ready to shed blood if our demands are ignored,” Upreti warned.
Upreti argued that since no ethnic community comprised over 25 percent of the total population in the three districts, they should not be merged with Madhes or Limbuwan in the new federal structure.
“The party is backtracking from its own proposal of Kochila state. We will torch the new constitution the very day it is promulgated if a separate state is not formed banding the three districts together,” Jhapa incharge Jhalak Singh Darlami said.
Morang Incharge Shiva Kumar Mandal said Madhesis of the three districts would not support a Madhes state that includes the three eastern districts with Janakpur as its capital. The leaders were fuming after prime minister Bhattarai said that the 10-state model was party´s official stance and that Kochila could be given autonomy within any state. They warned of violent protests in the region if the issue was not addressed soon.
Kochila State Incharge and politburo member Haribol Gajurel suggested formation of a mixed model that would give due consideration to the specialties of Kochila. “The party leaders should understand that 75 percent of the population in these districts oppose inclusion either in Limbuwan or Madhes state,” Gajurel said. Central Member of Tharuwan Mukti Morcha Aman Lal Modi stated that there would be no alternative to protests if the identities of indigenous groups, Koch and Tharus of east was not recognized.
Morang Secretary of CPN-UML Mahesh Regmi and Morang Secretary of NC Babu Raja Ojha, who were also present at the meeting, said that local leaders and supporters of their parties were in favor of forming a separate state with the three districts east of Koshi with Biratnagar as its capital.