Madhesis hopeful of good Indo-Nepal ties under Prachanda government

Kathmandu (Nepal), Aug.22 : Madhesi-based political parties are confident that ties between Nepal and India will mend and prosper under the leadership of Prime Minister Pushpa Kumar Dahal, who is due to undertake an official visit to New Delhi next month.

The optimism of these Madhesi-based parties comes in the wake of the formation of a taskforce that will aim to resolve existing political differences related to the Constitution and its amendments.

This new taskforce comprising representatives of the governing Maoist Centre-Nepali Congress alliance and the agitating parties is expected to start fresh negotiations, possibly from next week, in a bid to settle the disputed issues of the constitution, reports the Kathmandu Post.

According to leaders, the taskforce will, after negotiations, prepare a draft proposal for constitution amendment.

The government is planning to register a constitution amendment proposal in Parliament by mid-October to address the concerns raised by the Madhesi and Janajati parties.

Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal Co-chair Rajendra Shrestha said that the taskforce will be announced soon after Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi returns from New Delhi.

Nidhi, who is in the Indian capital as a special envoy of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is scheduled to return home on Monday.

The taskforce will also seek to make a common position on local body restructuring. The governing parties and the Madhes-based parties have collectively opposed the Local Body Restructuring Commission (LBRC)'s proposal to form 565 local units, saying the LBRC's work is unscientific and that reducing the number of local units to 565 will make it difficult for the general public to access state facilities and services.

The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, has been demanding major changes in state restructuring with at least two provinces in the Tarai plains.

The Madhesi parties have also demanded that provincial representation in the Upper House be determined on the basis of population.

The governing and agitating parties are planning to resolve the internal differences first before reaching out to the parties in opposition.

Maoist leaders said the taskforce would start its work even if the main opposition CPN-UML, refuses to join the negotiation process.

(ANI with inputs).

Source: ANI