Madhesi leaders float three proposals to end boundary row

Kathmandu [Nepal], Dec. 3 : Top leaders of Madhes-based parties have floated three proposals, including setting up a federal commission and entirely revising the federal boundaries or scrapping the existing seven-province model, before the central government to end the boundary row.

This comes amid protests erupting in different parts of the country and the Madhes-based parties refusing to take ownership of the bill in existing form.

According to leaders privy to the meetings between the Madhes-based forces and the governing parties, Madhesi leaders "categorically" advised Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal either to set up a federal commission and entirely revise the federal boundaries or scrap the existing seven-Province model, reports the Kathmandu Post.

According to the leaders, a new constitution amendment proposal can be drafted after that to ensure elections.

The second proposal is adhering to the report prepared by the State Restructuring Commission while the third proposal calls for adjusting the "disputed" districts of Provinces 2 and 5.

The current constitution amendment bill that the government has registered envisions splitting Province 5 but does not mentions about five "disputed" districts-Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari in the East and Kailali and Kanchanpur in the West.

The plan to split Province 5 has sparked protests, with thousands of people descending on central Butwal on Friday.

The Madhesi leaders have suggested that there should be two provinces in Tarai/ Madhes where western and southern parts of Morang and Sunsari can be incorporated into Province 2 and eastern part of Kailai district can be incorporated into Province 5.

"They have proposed setting up a federal commission and giving it three to six months to come up with a report, and based on that report, a new constitution amendment bill can be drafted so as to ensure elections," said A top leader from a party in the government.

Talking to reporters on Friday, Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) Chairman Mahantha Thakur said that the row over federal boundaries can be resolved by following the recommendations of the State Restructuring Commission.

The commission had come up with a report suggesting two provinces along the plains with Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari being part of Province 2 and Kailai and Kanchanpur of Province 5.

Three major parties had earlier rejected the State Restructuring Commission's report, saying that two provinces along the plains "was not possible".

Source: ANI