Nepal: Talks on power devolution rejected
Nepal`s Terai plains are home to about half of the country`s 30 million people, and the residents of the region, are known as Madhesis, who are of Indian ethnic origin.
Kathmandu: An alliance of the Terai-based
parties in Nepal has decided to pull out of talks with the
government for the political devolution of power for the
community living in the plains bordering India.
United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) had been involved
in talks with the government and the main opposition Nepali
Congress over its demand for a single autonomous Madhes state
comprising the 20 districts in the Terai plains.
JP Gupta, chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Republic
(MJF? R), one of the constituents of the Front, said they are
ready to talk on forming a panel of experts on state
restructuring, but would not discuss the issue of the setting
up of a State Restructuring Committee (SRC) any further.
"We came for the meeting as the leaders of the three
parties had assured us an alternative to SRC," said Gupta.
"We would not have come for the meeting had they informed
us they would repeat the proposal for the formation of SRC,"
he was quoted as saying by nepalnews online.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, UDMF leaders
said they will not agree to the formation of SRC and will not
further discuss it.
Nepal`s Terai plains are home to about half of the
country`s 30 million people, and the residents of the region,
are known as Madhesis, who are of Indian ethnic origin.
The pro-Terai parties argue that people in the
Madhesi-dominated southern plains have long been treated as
second-class citizens in Nepal, where hill-origin elites
dominate politics, the security forces and business.
They have demanded greater economic and political
rights, including more representation in the state structure.
UDMF, which has some six dozen lawmakers in the
parliament, comprises of MJF-Republic, MJF-Loktantrik, Terai
Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), TMLP-Nepal and Sadbhawana
party. They have been demanding for a single autonomous Madhes
state comprising of all 20 districts in the Terai.
The leaders of the three political parties have urged the
UDMF to agree to the formation of SRC.
Talks were also held on SRC formation with the Madhesi
Front on Tuesday.