UDMF ready for another round of talks 'if govt is sincere'

Published On: April 15, 2017 01:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, APRIL 15: Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav has said that the agitating Madhes-based parties are ready to take part in the polls if their remaining concerns are addressed.

Talking to Republica, Yadav, who is also the coordinator of the Federal Alliance, a loose alliance of fringe Madhesi and Janajati parties, said that the agitating parties are ready to sit for talks if the government comes forward with a clear proposal on ending the row over disputed issues including the federal boundaries and local setups. 

Yadav's response comes at a time when the government is making renewed efforts to bring the agitating parties back to the negotiation table after the latter rejected the new constitution amendment bill registered at parliament earlier this week. The regional parties have said that the amendment bill should be endorsed through parliament after further amendment ensuring formation of another province in Terai. 

Though the new bill seeks to form a federal commission to resolve the row over federal boundaries, the agitating parties have said that it falls short of meeting their demands.

"We held dozens of talks with the ruling parties. But the government did nothing as discussed during those negotiations. Talks are meaningless if the government intends to do nothing.  If it is sincere to resolve the existing differences, we have no problem sitting for another round of talks with the government," said Yadav. 

Though the government has hinted at the possibility of increasing the number of local units, it has ruled out the possibility of any prior agreement on federal boundaries. The Madhesi parties have insisted on the need for "concrete details within the constitutional framework" that ensures formation of another province in tarai before the provincial polls. 

On Thursday, Chakrapani Khanal, the prime minister's chief political advisor, had told Republica that the UDMF's demand on federal boundaries was non-negotiable for the time being but said that the government was flexible to address all concerns of the agitating parties except the federal boundaries. 

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