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Koirala firm on polls, Madhesis disagree

world Updated: Feb 25, 2008 22:34 IST
Anirban Roy

Protests from all quarters have so far failed to affect Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s decision to hold the crucial Constituent Assembly election as per schedule. The Nepal Premier reiterated his commitment to hold the polls on April 10 once again on Monday.

Senior leaders of the three ruling parties — the Nepali Congress, Maoist and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) — made it clear that they will not bow down to the unreasonable demands made by the Madhesis.

The commitment to hold the election was reiterated after the failure of Sunday night’s talks with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). The UDMF has been demanding for an autonomous state in Terai.

The ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) on Monday turned down the request of the agitating UDMF to postpone the crucial election by one month.

The meeting that began on Sunday night and continued till 3 am on Monday, was trapped in some technical issues. “We are trying to resolve this at the earliest,” Koirala said.

However, none of the three major Madhesi parties filed their nominations even as the last date for filing nomination for the 240 seats under the fast-past-the-post system of election ended at 5 pm on Monday.