Madhesi parties undecided over withdrawing support to govt

Published On: March 14, 2017 12:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 14: The agitating Madhes-based political parties have remained undecided over whether to withdraw their support to the government as the week-long deadline served by them to the government expired on Monday. 

An alliance of the agitating Madhes-based and some ethnic parties had last week threatened to withdraw their support to the Pushpa Kamal Dahal government if their demands were not fulfilled within the given deadline. 

Earlier, the Federal Alliance (FA), which comprises parties in the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and some other fringe political parties, had demanded that the government cancel the local polls scheduled for May 14 and the constitution amendment bill be endorsed through parliament within a week.

A meeting of the agitating parties couldn't be convened on Monday as most of the leaders of the agitating parties were in Tarai-Madhes to celebrate the Holi festival. 

But some leaders of the agitating parties on Monday said that they may review their warning as there is no meaning of withdrawing their support to the government. “Withdrawing our support to the government is unlikely to exert any pressure on the government as Kamal Thapa [Rastriya Prajatantra Party] has recently joined the cabinet and the Bijay Gachahhader-led Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic (MPRF-D) is also going to join the government,” said a lawmaker of Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party, Dharmendra Shah Teli. He further said that the agitating parties may show some flexibility on their previous stance if the government took some initiatives to endorse the constitution amendment bill.  

Chairman of MPRF-Republic, a constituent party of UDMF, Rajkishor Yadav said that a meeting of the agitating parties on Wednesday will take an appropriate decision in the changed context. 

Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party leader Keshav Jha said that a secretariat meeting of the UDMF has been called for Tuesday.

Leaders of the agitating parties also see the possibility of announcing further protest programs if the government does nothing to address their demands.

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