Nepal’s political leaders to meet with aim to end crisis

RSTV Bureau
FILE: BIRGUNJ:  Smoke from tires bellows set on fire by the ethnic Madhesis at Birgunj, a town on the border with India, Nepal, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015.  Photo - PTI

FILE: BIRGUNJ: Smoke from tires bellows set on fire by the ethnic Madhesis at Birgunj, a town on the border with India, Nepal, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015.
Photo – PTI

In a welcome development for the people of Nepal, who are currently reeling under the economic blockade and a persisting threat of food and fuel shortage, Nepal’s three major political parties on Monday decided to reach a consensus on a Bill to amend the new Constitution. The Himalayan country is plagued with crisis due to protest by the Madhesi people leading to blockade on the border region along India. The blockade had led to a crunch in supplies into the main land.

Madhesis, who claim to represent the interests of the Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai (plains) region, have been protesting against the new constitution adopted by Nepal government. They claim that new Constitution will not be able to address the issues of indigenous Terai region people.

On Monday, Nepal’s three major parties held a meeting at Baluwatar which was attended by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, UCPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala and general secretary of the party Prakash Man Singh.

KATHMANDU:  Nepal's newly elected prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli and former prime minister Sushil Koirala shake hands after Oli administered the oath of office to at the Presidential building in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015.  Photo - PTI

FILE: KATHMANDU: File photo of Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli with former PM Sushil Koirala at the Presidential building in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. Photo – PTI

“A meeting of three major parties and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front will be convened soon to make a common opinion among the political parties regarding the constitution amendment bill tabled in the Parliament and the ongoing Madhes movement,” according to Prime Miniter’s press Adviser Pramod Dahal.

Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, are also protesting division of their ancestral homeland under the seven-province structure and have led an ongoing blockade of key border trade points with India.

On Sunday, the Maoist party chief Prachanda had told the Nepal Prime Minister that three major parties need to forge consensus on the demands of the agitating Madhesi parties. During the meeting, KP Sharma Oli had informed Prachanda about his meeting with senior leaders of Madhes-based parties and the main opposition Nepali Congress.

Prime Minster of Nepal had also met vice-president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (Democratic) Rameshwor Raya Yadav. During the meeting, Yadav informed the Prime Minister about the problems of Mashesis. The Prime Minsiter assured him about his seriousness in addressing these issues.

Earlier this month, the UN World Food Programme too had flagged concerns over the on-going agitation against Constitution that has led to the border blockade resulting in a severe shortage of food and fuel.

(With inputs from the PTI)