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UDMF-Government talks uncertain

By Our Reporter
It has been almost six months since the Madhesi parties quit their Terai based agitation but no meaningful talks have been held between the agitating parties and the government over these months.
The agitating Madhesi parties together with a few fringe communal parties are now launching their Kathmandu-centric movement for the last one and a half months. The government sent letters formally inviting the parties, now christened as Federal Alliance, but the Madhes-based parties themselves seem to be divided over the government letter and their demands. While majority of the Madhes-based parties have put forth the demand of amendments in the constitution, Upendra Yadav, chairman of Madehsi Janaadhikar Forum Nepal, one of the key constituents of FA, has been demanding rewriting of the statute.
Because of this difference within the agitating parties, the proposed talks between the government and the FA have become uncertain.
The agitating parties have been putting one pre-condition after another only to avoid the talks. With their weakening strength, they have no option but to seek a safe-landing of their agitation. But still they have failed to have common agendas of talks.
Political analysts believe that Upendra Yadav floated the idea of rewriting the constitution to regain his lost popularity while other parties have suspected his move.
“Yadav might have inserted the demand for rewriting of the constitution at the suggestion of the Chinese,” a political analyst close to NC, who hails from Morang, told this weekly under the condition of anonymity.
Yadav is often portrayed as pro-Chinese leader by other Madhesi leaders. When he opposed the burning of the Chinese flag by the cadres associated with the Rajendra-Mahato-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party last year, Yadav was also labeled the tag then.
If the claim made by the political analyst is true, there is little chance of meaningful talks between the government and the Madhesi parties.
The government has outright rejected the demand for rewriting the statute. Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai said in Kakarvitta recently that demand of rewriting the constitution is not possible at any cost.
Even opposition NC may not be ready to meet this demand. When the ruling and main opposition parties are against the demand, it looks unlikely that the government and FA sit for talks soon. Instead there is a danger of split in the FA that strongly opposed any anti-Indian element within it.

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