Resolve boundary row before elections: Madhesi, Janajati leaders

Kathmandu, July 28 : The Madhesi and Janajati leaders have urged the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Maoist Centre to first resolve the ongoing row over the federal boundaries and find a solution to the Tarai crisis before holding the local elections.

The leaders have warned of strong protests if the polls are conducted without meeting the demands of the agitating parties.

The NC and the Maoist Centre plan to conduct local, provincial and central elections in the next 18 months, reports Kathmandu Post.

"Prachanda won't have a moral ground to say he is different from Oli if he went on to hold local polls without addressing our demands," said Rajendra Shrestha, co-chair of the Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum-Nepal.

Some Madhesi leaders said that the NC and Maoist Centre should at least give a credible assurance to address their concerns over the boundaries even if the CPN-UML refuses to lend its support.

One way of giving such assurance would be registering a joint amendment proposal at the Parliament incorporating the demands.

Sarbendra Nath Shukla, general secretary of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, said, "If that doesn't happen, NC and Maoist Centre should make categorical commitment to create one more province in the Tarai plains." The Madhesi leaders are of the view the boundaries can be revised after the election if the NC and the Maoist Centre assure them of carving two provinces in the plains now.

The UML leadership has stood firm against any changes to the existing federal structures, arguing that it would spark unrest in other places.

Resolving the Madhesi crisis was the very first commitment in the seven-point agreement signed between NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal before the Maoists withdrew support from the UML-led government.

Source: ANI