Madhesi, Tharus, caucus one on state restructuring
KATHMANDU, May 9: Forging a common stance on state restructuring, the Madhesi, Tharu and lawmakers from the indigenous communities have demanded ethnic based federal states.
A joint meeting of Madhesi, Tharu and caucus of lawmakers from indigenous communities held in the capital on Tuesday evening decided that north-south delineation of federal states or the seven federal states proposed by the Nepali Congress (NC) would not acceptable to them under any circumstances.
“Our meeting concluded that the federal states must be formed on the basis of ethnic-identity,” lawmaker from the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Jitendra Sonal told Republica.
At a time when local political parties have intensified their protests demanding undivided far-western region, the Madhesi, Tharu and caucus of indigenous lawmakers maintained they would protest against the demand.
“We are against it [undivided far-western region]. The demand for undivided far west region cannot be an unconditional,” said CPN-UML lawmaker Prithibi Subba Gurung, who was present in the meeting.
He stated that they (Madhesi, Tharu and caucus of indigenous lawmakers) would stand together for their common concerns.
According to Sonal, they also demanded that Kailali and Kanchanpur be accommodated in the Madhes or Tharuhat state.
Lawmaker of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Sarba Dev Ojha said that they have agreed to support each others´ agenda.
“If a voting is held on the contentious issues of the new constitution in the Constituent Assembly (CA), we will cast our votes for the cause of our communities defying directives of our respective parties,” added Ojha.
Ojha stated that the federal states should be formed in the line with the reports prepared by the State Restructuring Commission and the CA committee on state restructuring.
Meanwhile, a meeting of United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of five Madhes-based political parties, said that territory of Tarai must not be annexed into other federal states.
“Territory of Tarai must be accommodated in Madhes or Tharuhat states, not in other states. This is our bottom line,” said Chairman of Sadbhawana Party (SP).
According to SP Vice-chairman Laxmanlal Karna, the meeting also urged the CPN-UML to join the government for timely promulgation of the new constitution.
When asked t if the Madhesi alliance would be ready a cabinet reshuffle, Karna added, “We will not give up the ministerial portfolios that we have already been allocated.”