Madeshis, Janajatis announce alliance in Nepal for new stir

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Kathmandu, April 18 (IANS) The political parties representing the Madhesis in Nepal on Monday announced an alliance with certain organisations of the Janajatis for a combined Kathmandu-focused agitation over their demands.

The new alliance — Sanghiya Samabeshi Gathabandan (SSG) — has prepared a fresh list of 26 demands and will announce the details of its agitation on Tuesday.

Since numerous rounds of talks with the government had produced no results, the alliance said, they were compelled to take to the streets.

Both the Madhesis and the Janajatis are unhappy over certain provisions of the new constitution of Nepal, which was enforced in September last year.

Dozens of intellectual, academics and writers extended support to the proposed Kathmandu-centric stir on Monday.

“This alliance is sure to take the identity movement to new heights. Our fight will not stop until the Nepal government agrees to rewrite the constitution in accordance with the agreements signed with the Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits, Khas, Muslims and other communities in the past,” Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal chairman Upendra Yadav said here.

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Various leaders said the collaboration between the groups claiming to represent the Madhesis and Janajatis would prove effective in mounting more pressure on the Nepalese government regarding their demands.

These groups have been demanding carving of provinces based on ethnic identity and greater autonomy for excluded communities.

However, some demands of the Madhes-based parties, especially regarding two provinces in the Terai plains, are in contrast to the demand for Limbuwan, Tharuhat and Magarat provinces in the region.

But with three largest parties in parliament — the Nepal Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) –enjoying considerable influence over the Janajati constituencies, doubts remain whether the new alliance would be able to garner enough public support for its cause.

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Yadav accused these major parties of “curtailing” the rights ensured by the interim constitution.

He claimed the new constitution, on the other hand, was aimed at disenfranchising the marginalised and excluded communities.

Mahanta Thakur, a leader of the Madhes movement, also said that their agitation represented the struggle of all the marginalised and excluded communities in Nepal.

He said the protesters were committed to preserve the communal harmony in the country.

“Our struggle is not against any community. Our struggle is against the government. We are fighting for equality and justice,” Thakur said.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at [email protected])

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