Kathmandu: A top Madhesi leader from a
Terai-based party on Wednesday threatened to launch an agitation if
the Nepal government fails to give more economic and political
rights, including greater autonomy for the community living in
the plains bordering India.
Nepal`s Terai plains are home to about half of the
country`s 30 million people, and the residents of the region,
known as Madhesis, have long complained of discrimination by
the country`s hill communities.
Former Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, the President
of the Madhesi People`s Rights Forum (MPRF), threatened to
launch a massive agitation if the government did not address
their key demand for establishing an autonomous Madhes
The MPRF, which is the fifth largest party in the
601-strong Constituent Assembly, asked the embattled
government to implement the eight-point agreement the Madhesi
parties had earlier signed with the the interim government led
by Prime Minster G P Koirala in 2007.
The government had assured us to fulfill our major
demands, including declaring an autonomous Madhes province,
providing more representation and rights to the Madhesi
community, inclusion of the community in all state structure
in proportionate to their population and providing
compensation to those killed during the pro-Madhes movement,
Yadav told reporters.
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.