Madhesi Morcha threatens to pull out of Prachanda government

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Kathmandu, March 8 (IANS) The Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven political parties from the Terai region, protesting against the Constitution of Nepal since 2015, has threatened to withdraw its support to the Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’-led government if its demands are not addressed in the next seven days.

Top leaders of the Morcha on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Prachanda and handed over a memorandum.

During the formation of Prachanda-led government in August last year, the Morcha had extended its support after reaching a three-point agreement that mostly related to the constitutional amendment process to make the statute more inclusive and Madhes-friendly.

The ultimatum came three days after three Madhesi Morcha cadres were killed by the security men during a fierce clash in Saptari district after a mass gathering.

The Morcha and main opposition CPN-UML have been at war since the promulgation of Nepal’s new Constitution, as the UML leadership accused the Morcha of being a pawn of foreign powers and has been opposing its demand for constitutional amendments.

In the ultimatum letter handed over to the Prime Minister, the Morcha leadership has demanded withdrawal of local elections proposed for May 14, assurance on the constitutional amendment process, keeping the local government within the provincial jurisdiction, and implementing the three-point agreement reached at the time of formation of the government.

Sadbhawana Party Co-Chairman Laxman Lal Karna said the demands include declaring the cadres killed during Saptari’s incident as martyrs, besides payment of compensation to their kin. The Morcha has also demanded formation of a high-level commission to carry out an investigation into the incident.

The Prime Minister’s Chief Political Advisor Chakrapani Khanal shared that Prachanda has received the Morcha’s demands, and added that the Prime Minister assured the leaders that he would hold discussions with the ruling parties and the opposition before taking steps to address it.

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

–IANS

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