Amendment bill unacceptable: Nepal’s Madeshi Morcha

Kathmandu, Nov 30 (IANS) The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of major Madhes-based parties on Wednesday said it cannot not accept the Constituent amendment bill registered by the government on Tuesday.

The Morcha under the banner of Front met on Wednesday to make a position on government’s proposal.
The meeting concluded though the government’s move is just a step forward but did not meet the demands and aspirations of the Madhesi people who are excluded from political mainstream and sharing the state pie in various entities.
Issuing a statement on Wednesday evening, Morcha allies said that the bill, tabled without their consent, could not be accepted under the existing circumstances.
“The constitution amendment tabled by the government on Tuesday doesn’t address issues of Madhes, indigenous and excluded communities,” the statement said.
Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal (SSF-N) has refused to take ownership of the bill.
In a press statement, SSF-N Chairman Upendra Yadav, who is also the coordinator of the Gathabandan, said the party will continue to protest against all forms of discrimination on indigenous, ‘janajati’, Tharu, Khas, Muslim, Women, Dalit and Madhesi people.
“The registered bill doesn’t fully address any demand of Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha and Sanghiya Gathabandan,” the statement said.
However, some senior Madhesi leaders have signaled that the agitating parties may vote on behalf of the amendment proposal with reservation to institutionalize the achievements.
Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur, who had chaired the meeting, said the government had agreed in principle to register the bill; but had not held any discussion on contents of the proposal.
The regional parties claim that the bill still fall short of addressing their key demands including the demand on the delineation of the federal boundaries in its entirety.
Madhesi leaders are particularly unhappy with the government for making no mention of the so-called five disputed districts in the bill.
Madhesi leaders said Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had assured to categorise Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur as disputed and split the districts between hill and plain provinces based on recommendation of the State Restructuring Commission.
A day after registration of the amendment proposal, the Sanghiya Gathabandan, an alliance of 29 agitating parties, and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, separately rejected the proposal.
Some Madhesi leaders hinted at partially supporting the bill to institutionalize the achievements and decided to buy some time until they get clear feedback from the ground. Politically, it is difficult to woo the Madeshi constituencies for them as 59 people were killed and their grievances have not heard until one year after the promulgations of the new constitutions.
–IANS
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