KATHMANDU, March 11: The Nepali Congress said that that the government’s decision to accept a clause that supports “public mandate” in its agreement with CK Raut led Alliance for Independent Madhes was against national sovereignty and integrity.
“The clause is unacceptable to Nepali citizens,” Dr. Shekhar Koirala, central committee member of the opposition said and argued that the agreement exposed faults on both sides.
He added that the incident at Janakpur following the agreement was concerning and a wake-up call.
However, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has made it clear that the agreement between the government and secession campaigner CK Raut would be nullified Raut interpreted "people's mandate" mentioned in the agreement as an understanding to hold “referendum” on secession.
The second point of the 11-point agreement reached with the Raut mentions that both sides agree to resolve dissatisfaction seen in different places including the Tarai-Madhes through democratic means based on 'people's mandate'. As Raut has claimed that the government had agreed to hold “referendum' to meet its, this sparked huge controversy in the political circle.
Home Minister Thapa also said that they will revert to the pre-agreement state when the government treated Raut's group as 'anti-national', if Raut insisted on interpreting “people's mandate" as “referendum”. The minister argued that the government agreed with the Raut's group to address their grievances through democratic means—i.e. periodic elections.
Not convinced by the home minister's answers, several lawmakers including those from the ruling party had asked supplementary questions to him. They had reminded Home Minister Thapa that Raut through his social media had announced that the government had given in to his demand for a referendum.
“The agreement has no mention of a referendum on secession. If he insists on a referendum, then the state will revert to the pre-agreement situation,” Minister Thapa said.