KATHMANDU, May 20: The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of five ruling Madhes-based political parties, has denounced what it termed "suppression of the protests being organized by Tharu and Indigenous communities".
“The UDMF expresses solidarity and firm support to the movement launched by Tharu community and indigenous organizations across various districts for identity-based federalism, inclusive and autonomous federal states, along with others political, social and cultural rights,” read the press statement signed by chairmen of Madhesi parties including Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, who is the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister.
“And, the Madhesi alliance strongly denounces suppression by the police administration against the justifiable movements launched by Tharu community and indigenous nationalities.”
At a time when Broader Madhesi Front, an alliance of cross-party Madhesi lawmakers, has been protesting the 11-province model floated by three major parties, the UDMF has also warned of its own protests on Monday.
When asked about their possible protests, Central member of MPRF-D Sarba Dev Ojha said they would take to the streets after quitting the government.
“But, we are hopeful that three major political parties will forge consensus on number of provinces by tomorrow (Monday),” Ojha added.
According to leaders present in the UDMF´s meeting, Chairman of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Mahantha Thakur stated that the Madhesi alliance should go for agitation only after seeing the development on federal provinces.
“We should have an issue to go for agitation. Even if the UCPN (Maoist) stuck to the 11-province model under pressure from NC and CPN-UML, we have to think about launching movement,” a second-rung Madhesi leader quoted Thakur as saying in the meeting.
Chairman of Sadbhawana Party and Health Minister Rajendra Mahato stated that they should launch the movement as protests across Tarai districts have already gained momentum.