KATHMANDU, Jan 16: The agitating Federal Alliance and Naya Shakti Nepal have agreed in principle to forge an alliance to press for the constitution amendment as per the demands of the Madhes-based parties.
The top leaders of the Federal Alliance and Naya Shakti Nepal held their first meeting in Kathmandu on Sunday to discuss in detail about their working alliance. "We have agreed in principle to move ahead by forging a working alliance with the Naya Shakti Nepal. Our next meeting scheduled for Thursday will decide in detail on how to move ahead," said General Secretary of National Madhes Socialist Party Keshav Jha.
The meeting was attended by Baburam Bhattarai, Ganga Shresha, Devendra Paudel, Karishma Manandhar, and Keshav Man Shakya on behalf of the Naya Shakti Nepal, while Upendra Yadav, Mahantha Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Mahendra Raya Yadav, Gopal Dahit, Keshav and Kumar Lingden on behalf of the agitating Federal Alliance.
Jha said the two sides have now agreed to jointly organize functions to press for the endorsement of constitution amendment bill, which is already in parliament. "We will be jointly working in such a way that it would exert pressure to revise the amendment bill," he further said.
FA leaders said they plan to forge a long-term alliance with the Naya Shakti in future in order to work together for progressive changes in the country. Although Naya Shakti Nepal does not currently have any seat in parliament to help endorse the constitution amendment bill, the leaders believe that public statements from a leader of Bhattarai's stature could have positive impact for their cause.
Bhattarai, who was a lawmaker of then UCPN (Maoist), had decided to resign from the parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution through the Constituent Assembly (CA) in September last year. He later formed Naya Shakti Nepal party in order to champion the cause of various marginalized groups including Madhesi and indigenous groups.
As uncertainty looms over the endorsement of the seven-point constitution amendment bill tabled in parliament, the agitating FA leaders are working on their own ways to create conducive environment for endorsing the amendment bill with revision. The government is also preparing to induct new cabinet ministers in a bid to garner enough votes in parliament in support of the amendment bill.