Madhes-based parties boycott all-party meeting called by PM

Kathmandu, May 24 (IANS) Nepal’s Madhes-based parties, which have been agitating for nearly a year demanding better representation in parliament and the administrative divisions envisaged in the new constitution, on Tuesday boycotted an all-party meeting called by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

The prime minister called the all-party meeting to negotiate a settlement of all the contemporary as well as constitutional issues, the prime minister’s press adviser Pramod Dahal told Xinhua.

“The Madhes-based parties did not join today’s (Tuesday) meeting, but the government still hopes that the agitating parties will sit for the dialogue,” he said.

Noting that the prime minister wrote a six-point letter to the Madhes-based parties on Monday calling them to sit down for talks, the advisor said the prime minister was making all efforts to address the genuine demands of Madhes-based parties through political peaceful means.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Oli said he is sincere about addressing the genuine concerns raised by the Madhes-based parties and finding a way out from the ongoing political impasse in the country, according to Dahal.

“The government is flexible and positive about addressing the genuine demands of the Madhes-based parties. The prime minister wrote a letter to Madhes-based parties on Monday requesting them to have a fresh round of dialogue. We hope the agitating parties will soon join the negotiations,” said Agni Kharel, law minister and the government spokesperson.

The opposition party urged the prime minister to create a conducive environment to sort out pending issues raised by the Madhes-based parties.

“Today’s meeting did not yield any positive results as the Madhes-based parties shunned the meeting. We have urged the government to create a conducive environment to invite the agitating parties for talks and resolve the turmoil,” Nepali Congress leader Mahesh Acharya said.

Rajendra Mahato, a leader of the agitating alliance, on Tuesday told the local media: “We have received the letter sent from the prime minister. We have taken it very positively.”

The Madhes-based parties and fringe ethnic groups claim that the constitution is discriminatory and does not ensure adequate political autonomy to them.



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