New alliance forms nine-member panel to address Madhesi demands

Kathmandu, July 31: In an attempt to bring the Madhes-based parties on board in the government formation process, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) have agreed to form a joint team to settle their demands.

The panel will have three members each from the NC, Maoist Centre and Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Janajati and Madhesi parties and will try to find ways to settle all contentious issues related to the Constitution, including redrawing of federal boundaries, reports the Kathmandu Post.

During a joint meeting of the three parties held on Saturday, the NC and the Maoist Centre also agreed to immediately address the non-political demands of the Madhes-based parties that included declaring those killed during the Madhesi protest as martyrs, provide medical expenses for the victims, and release compensation to the families of the deceased.

The agitating parties, which had concluded that the CPN-UML government "was not keen to address their demands", have expressed support to the new NC-Maoist alliance, hoping that the new government would take initiatives to defuse the Madhesi crisis.

"The panel will soon start discussion on contentious issues of the constitution and prepare a draft for a fresh agreement," said Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal Co-Chair Rajendra Shrestha.

He, however, made it clear that agitating forces will not join the government "until the NC and the Maoist Centre give assurances to address our political demands.".

Source: ANI