A three-member team formed by the major parties to hold talks with the agitating Madhes-based parties on Tuesday separately met with the disgruntled leaders and urged them to back down the blockade in border areas to start political negotiations.
The team, which had met Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Chairman Mahantha Thakur and Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar on Monday, met the leaders again on Tuesday and urged them to end the blockade and stop making inciting statements.
During the talks, both the leaders asked the government to meet their preconditions to start political negotiations and reiterated that curfew at different places should be lifted and cases against their cadres arrested during the protest should be dropped. Likewise, they asked for declaring the dead protestors as martyrs, provide reparation to their families and provide free treatment to the injured.
“They reiterated their preconditions and we also urged them to end blockade on the border areas and stop giving inciting speeches. We clearly said that they can continue peaceful protest but stop treating the country as an enemy state,” said CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel, a member of the talks team formed by the three major parties.
Leaders of United Democratic Madhesi Forum have been stating that the blockade was done by them, not by India.
During the meeting, TMDP Chairman Mahantha Thakur informed the government talks team that he would go to Madhes and discuss all the issues with his allies there.
“Both sides have understood the present crisis and we’ll meet soon,” said Kharel.
MPRF-D General Secretary Ram Janam Chaudhary said that the meeting with Gachchhadar could not enter into political agenda.
“We urged them to meet the preconditions. Provincial delineation is the major agenda of the protests and it should be addressed. We also said that we will not be rigid in negotiations but they should also be flexible,” said Chaudhary.
A meeting of the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and the UCPN (Maoist) on Monday had formed the talks team comprised of Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Mahesh Acharya, CPN-UML chief whip Agni Kharel and UCPN (Maoist) Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha.