Kathmandu: The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, a key Madhesi party, announced Tuesday that it would observe a 15-minute blackout on the Constitution Day, saying the statute has failed to address the rights of Madhesis, Dalits and indigenous communities.

Senior Madhesi leader and former commerce minister Rajendra Mahato said his Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) will not take part in the government’s programme to celebrate the Constitution Day on September 19.

Nepal’s Constitution was promulgated three years ago on September 19.

Talking to reporters in Nepalgunj, Mahato, a member of the Presidium of the RJP-N, said that the Constitution has failed to address the rights of Madhesis, Dalits and indigenous communities.

“We are not observing the Constitution day as the statute has not been amended to incorporate our key demands,” he said.

Mahato sid that the RJP-N held discussions with the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) time and again over the issue of constitutional amendment, without any fruitful results.

Trustworthy environment has not been created for the constitutional amendment so far, Mahato said, adding that there should be a written commitment on the issue.

Another member of the RJP-N’s presidium Anil Jha said the party will observe the Constitution day by organizing protest rallies across the country.

“We will observe September 19 as a protest day,” he said.

The RJP-N will observe a 15-minute blackout on the Constitution day to register protest, he told PTI.

“We will launch peaceful protest rallies in all the district headquarters across the country,” Jha said, adding that they had supported the government as the Constitution amendment was their main agenda.

The Madhes-based parties had launched a six-month long protest in the past to press for the Constitution amendment to address their demands in which nearly 60 people were killed.

The major demands of the RJP-N include amendment in the citizenship certificate distribution provision, providing more rights to the provincial governments and re-demarcation of the provincial boundary among others.

The Madhesi party claims to represent the interests of inhabitants of the southern Terai region who are mostly of Indian origin.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.