Madhesis reject Nepal govt’s proposals; call them vague

Madhesis have rejected the Nepal government’s three-point roadmap to address their demands over some provisions of the new Constitution. They vowed to continue their stir, dimming hopes of an early end to the political crisis plaguing the country. The agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) held a meeting after which the four-party alliance stated it will continue with its protest programmes on the grounds that the government’s proposals “failed to address issues”.

The roadmap included the provision to amend the Constitution to ensure proportionate representation of the Madhesi communities in all state organs and to allocate Parliament seats on the basis of population. The proposal also included constituting a high-level political committee to re-demarcate the provincial boundaries within a period of three months.

The Madhesi Front said the ongoing agitation would continue till the provincial boundaries were re-demarcated, the rights for proportional inclusiveness were ensured in all state organs along with the resolution of issues relating to citizenship and language as well as the formation of electoral constituencies on the basis of population.

The agitating Madhes-based parties have been protesting for over four months against the seven-province model proposed in the new Constitution adopted on September 20 that divides their ancestral land as a way to politically marginalise them. Over 50 people have been killed in protests by Madhesis since August. The Madhesi parties have blockaded Nepal’s border trade points with India, causing a shortage of essential goods and medicines in the landlocked Himalayan country.