Top leaders of the Madeshi community, whose protests against Nepal’s new constitution has virtually sealed the India-Nepal border, reached New Delhi on Sunday to meet Indian leaders.
The visit comes close on the heels of the visit of Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa.
The Madeshi Morcha has been protesting for about four months in Nepal’s southern plain Terai, blocking movement of vehicles between the two countries and creating widespread shortages in the Himalayan nation.
They have expressed serious reservations over some of the contents of the new constitution promulgated in September as well as boundaries of the proposed seven federal units.
Those who reached Delhi include Mahantah Thakur, chairman of the Tarai Madesh Loktantrik Party, Upendra Yadav, chairman of Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum, Rajendra Mahato, chairman of Sadbhavana Party, and Mahendra Yadav, chairman of Tarai Madhes Sadbhavana Party.
Second rung leaders of the Madeshi Morcha have already reached New Delhi. They may call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday.
The Madeshi leaders will also meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav and Nationalist Congress Party’s DP Tripathi.
Madeshis are demanding increased political representation, proportional inclusion in state organs, correction in citizenship provisions and revision in federal boundaries.
Over 50 people have died in the protests.