Nepal’s Indian-origin Madhesi leaders on Monday submitted their 11-point demand to the government during their first meeting with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to end the political logjam, but no breakthrough emerged from the tripartite talks attended by the Opposition Nepali Congress.
After the talks, the government and the Madhesis said there was no agreement but the talks were headed in a positive direction and they have agreed to meet again on Wednesday.
The government and opposition parties will sit for talks again ahead of the Wednesday meeting to forge a common stance on the demands presented by the Madhesi parties.
During the meeting, “both the sides agreed to resolve the issues relating to the Madhesi parties through bilateral and trilateral dialogue,” said Oli’s press adviser Pramod Dahal.
This was the first meeting between Oli and representatives of agitating Madhesi parties.
Oli drew the attention of Madhesi leaders to the serious crisis facing the country due to the nearly three-month-long agitation by them near the border trading points with India.
The government also drew attention to the increasing incidents of violence during the agitation.
But Madhesi leaders sought government’s attention to use of excessive force by security forces to supress their stir.
Madhiesis, who share strong cultural and family bonds with Indians, have imposed a general strike in much of southern Nepal, causing a shortage of fuel and other essential goods.
The Madhesi leaders submitted their 11-point demand to the government and both sides held discussion in this regard.
Their demands included re-demarcation of the provinces, fixing of electoral constituencies on the basis of population and proportional representation.
During the meeting both the government and the Madhesi parties “urged each other to shun violence and seek solution to the problem through peaceful means of dialogue.”
Madhesi leaders also said that despite an assurance by the government those killed during the agitation have not received the Rs 1 million compensation announced by it.