Chief Minister of Province 2 Lalbabu Raut (Republica file photo)
REPUBLICAJANAKPUR, May 11Chief Minister of Province 2 Lalbabu Raut has said that the struggle against the 'discriminatory constitution' was still underway.Addressing a function organized at Barhabigha grounds in Janakpur to extend a civic reception to the Indian prime minister, Chief Minister Raut, who was speaking in Hindi, argued that the constitution promulgated in 2015 was discriminatory against Madhesi people and that they were still denied the rights of a provincial government as enshrined in the new constitution.
"Even today our struggle against the discriminatory constitution and for provincial rights is continuing'" Chief Minister Raut said, drawing the attention of the visiting Indian prime minister.India, which enforced an unofficial economic embargo to pressure the Nepal government to address the concerns of the agitating Madhes-based parties about the constitution, has not yet officially welcomed the constitution.
The almost six-month economic embargo took Nepal-India relations to its low point in recent decades.Chief Minister Raut said they wanted to see people from all castes, classes and communities living without any discrimination just as Modi himself had arisen from the grassroots to make it to the post of prime minister of India. "We are an integral part of Nepal. But what we want is people from all castes, classes and communities making it to all the state structures based on their merit without any form of discrimination," he said.On the occasion, Chief Minister Raut alleged that discriminatory policy on the part of the state had left the Tarai-Madhes an underdeveloped state.
"The state is biased against Madhes. Madhesi people are forced to live in relatively worse poverty, unemployment, deprivation, exploitation and oppression due to biased mentality," he said.
Raut also raised the issue of floods and draughts faced by people in the region . He also drew the attention of Prime Minister Modi to finding a long-term solution to the problem as this was affecting people from both sides of the border.CK Raut's activists show Free Madhes postersA few activists of secessionist leader C K Raut on Friday showed placards advocating a free Madhes at the civic reception organized at Barhabigha grounds.Although security personnel had carried out strict body searches to bar participation in the civic reception by any unwanted elements, a few participants managed to display placards advocating a free Madhes as the function was underway.
Such placards were spotted in the middle of the crowd that waited to hear Indian Prime Minister Modi's speech following the felicitations. The placards read, "Welcome to "Madhes. Free Madhes".Police had arrested several CK Raut supporters as they chanted free Madhes slogans along with the placards. Sources said police arrested several separatist activists from Saptari and other locations. Police officials were not available to confirm the arrests.