Nepal ‘regrets’ meeting between Madhesi, Bihar leaders

Kathmandu, Feb 2 (IANS) The Nepal government on Tuesday expressed concern over statements made by some leaders in India’s Bihar state, including RJD chief Lalu Prasad, on supporting the Madhesi agitation during a meeting with some leaders of the community.

Leaders of the Madhesi community were in Bihar and met Indian leaders, many of whom pledged their support to the agitation in Nepal’s southern Terai region.

The attention of the Nepal government was drawn to media coverage in Tuesday’s newspapers that said political leaders of Bihar made statements about “inherently internal issues” of Nepal, said Nepal’s ministry of foreign affairs in a statement.

“The statements are provocative and uninformed about the ground realities and do not serve the fundamental interest of the two countries,” the foreign ministry said.

“The government of Nepal expresses deep regrets over such statements. They are not helpful in the ongoing efforts aimed at normalising the situation,” it said, without referring to the meeting between Lalu Prasad and Nepali Madhesi politicians.

The ministry said the Nepal government “urges all to exercise restraint from making statements that may seriously undermine the harmonious relations between the two countries”.

The statement called for positive attitude and contribution from all concerned to promote bilateral relations.

Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal chairman Upendra Yadav, Sadbhawana Party chairman Rajendra Mahato and Terai Madesh Sadbhawana Party chief Mahendra Raya Yadav met Lalu Prasad at his residence in Patna on Monday.

They are scheduled to meet Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Kumar Modi and others.

The Nepali leaders told local reporters that they reached Bihar to seek sympathy from Indian leaders for the Terai agitation that has lasted for more than five months.

The Indian leaders reportedly pledged support to the Madhesi leaders, and assured them that they will talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to press the Nepal government to meet their demands.

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