Madhesi Front withdraws support to Nepal’s Prachanda government

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Kathmandu | Published: March 15, 2017 8:00:21 PM

An alliance of Madhes-based political parties today withdrew its support to Prime Minister Prachanda-led Nepal government after it failed to meet a seven-day ultimatum to fulfil their demands that included endorsement for the revised Constitution amendment bill.

Nepalese Prime Minister Prachanda. (Reuters)

An alliance of Madhes-based political parties today withdrew its support to Prime Minister Prachanda-led Nepal government after it failed to meet a seven-day ultimatum to fulfil their demands that included endorsement for the revised Constitution amendment bill. The government, however, continues to enjoy a majority as it has the support of more than 320 members in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with UDMF leaders, Prachanda urged them to participate in the upcoming local polls after amending the Constitution, setting aside the issue of state delineation for the time being.

He said the government would form a commission to finalise the issues relating to provincial demarcation before holding the provincial elections. The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), which has 39 lawmakers, withdrew support to the government as it failed to address its concern within the seven-day ultimatum that expired yesterday.

The Front on March 7 had issued the ultimatum to address their concerns that include re-demarcation of the provincial boundary and liberal citizenship policy among others.

The Front has been demanding government’s endorsement for revised Constitution amendment bill and withdrawal of the decision to conduct local polls in May.

“Our support to the government automatically expired on Tuesday. The government did not discuss with the Front leaders their concerns after they served the ultimatum,” said Keshav Jha, General Secretary of National Madhes Socialist Party.

Mahendra Raya Yadav, chairperson of Terai Madhesi Sadvawana Party said they have withdrawn the support to the government and would inform speaker Onshari Gharti about their decision.

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The Front had said that it could not support the government as it had been preparing to hold local level polls without addressing the issues raised by them.

The incumbent government led by CPN-Maoist Centre has got the support from Nepali Congress, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and other fringe parties.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, had launched a six- month-long agitation against the implementation of the Constitution without amending its provisions that would address the demands for more representation and re-demarcation of state boundaries.

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