Madhesis not serious about dialogue: Nepal minister

Law minister Agni Kharel said the government was ready to address the demands of the Joint Madhesi Front by amending the newly-promulgated Constitution. He was addressing a press meet in Damak Municipality.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 28, 2015, 19:48 PM IST

Kathmandu: A senior minister in Nepal on Saturday said that the agitating Joint Madhesi Front was not serious about holding a dialogue to resolve the political impasse over the new Constitution.

Law minister Agni Kharel said the government was ready to address the demands of the Joint Madhesi Front by amending the newly-promulgated Constitution. He was addressing a press meet in Damak Municipality.

Kharel, who is also the politburo member of the ruling CPN-UML, said that although amending the new constitution was not a problem for the party and the government, it was important to see whether it would lead to a solution.

"Though the government was ready to address the demands of Madhesi Front through amendment to the new constitution, the Front is not serious for the discussion," he said.

The agitation launched by the Front from the streets and Nepal-India border points would not lead to any solution, Kharel said urging the agitating groups to press their demands through the medium of dialogue and discussion.

Meanwhile, opposition Nepali Congress leader and former minister Ram Sharan Mahat said that misinformation among the people had led to the ongoing protests in the Terai region.

Speaking in Biratnagar in eastern Nepal, Mahat said that people have misinterpreted the articles of the new Constitution.

People from marginalised Dalits, indigenous and Madhesi communities have been told that the Constitution has discriminated against them, which is not true, said Mahat.

The present crisis can be resolved through political and constitutional means, he pointed out.

Indian-origin Madhesis have been protesting over the new Constitution, which they allege is discriminatory to their rights.

Madhesi groups have been staging protests against the seven-province model of the Constitution.

The Madhesis are demanding re-drawing of the federal provinces by separating the Terai plains bordering India from the hilly regions and more rights and representation to them.

At least 50 people have been killed in violent protests since August.