Deal divides 30-party alliance

 Kathmandu,June-9 With three major political forces and one Madhes-based party signing a 16-point agreement to iron out the statute differences and laying out an eight-province federal model withholding their names and demarcation, the 30-party alliance is on the verge of split.

The UCPN (Maoist)-led opposition bloc saw vertical division on Monday over the agreement with three major Madhesi parties and Janajati parties objecting to the understanding on federalism.

After the four-party meeting in Baluawatar reached the understanding, the Maoist party called a meeting of the alliance. The fringe parties objected to the deal saying that decision on the key issues of federalism should not be postponed.

In the meeting, the MJF-Nepal led by Upendra Yadav, Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party led by Mahanta Thakur and the Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party said they would not back the deal.

The 28 parties said they would not accept the federal model without sorting the dispute over Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts and the border of the provinces. Only the UCPN (M) and the Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led MJF-Loktantrik have agreed to move ahead with the deal.

The regional parties are against mixing Tarai districts with the hill districts to form the provinces. They are of the view that there should not be more than two provinces in the plains. Regarding the demarcation in the hills, the Maoist and Janajati parties are of the view that ethnic clusters should not be broken while federating the country.

In the alliance meeting on Monday, its coordinator and UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal tried to persuade the other parties that time had come to replace the Sushil Koirala government and for that a new political understanding was a must.

“As the alliance coordinator, I tried my best to incorporate our demands and concerns,” Dahal told the meeting, adding that it was impossible to fulfill 100 percent demands in the deal.

After Dahal, Gachhadar also requested the alliance to accept the deal. Both the leaders made it clear at the meeting that “we will not run away from consensus” and would attend the meeting in Baluwatar for clinching the final deal.

After Dahal’s briefing, Madhesi leaders Yadav, Mahato and Hyridayesh Tripathi and other fringe parties had rejected the understanding.

Federal Socialist Party Nepal Chairman Ashok Rai urged Dahal not to accept a deal without agreement on state demarcation. “There is no meaning of the number of federal units alone,” said Rai.

Expressing reservations about the eight-state model, leaders of the Madhes-based parties organised a separate press conference to inform that any agreement reached among the four parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and MJF-Loktantrik—would be unacceptable to them. “Any agreement made on the eight states will be only of the four parties, not of the 30-party alliance,” said Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Vice-chairman Tripathi.

“We have not yet split but if any agreement is forged on promulgating a new constitution with eight provinces, we will not be a part of it,” he added. “The so-called agreement is an assault on the post-2006 achievements and past agreements,” he told the Post.

Source:The Kathmandu post