Madhesi parties reject statute amendment bill, announce fresh stir

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Dec 18, 2015 18:18 IST
Ethnic Madhesi protesters throw stones and bricks at Nepalese policemen in Birgunj. Madhesi parties have rejected a Constitution amendment bill, and ave announced a new round of protests. (AP Photo)

Madhesi parties in Nepal on Friday rejected the Constitution amendment bill aimed at addressing their demands and announced a fresh round of protests.

The move came hours after the government and opposition Nepali Congress decided to postpone proceedings on the bill for a week and hold further talks with the Madhesi parties to resolve the ongoing crisis.

The Constitution amendment bill tabled in parliament this week had sought to change provisions related to proportional representation and delimitation of electoral constituencies.

But Madhesi parties have rejected it saying it doesn’t address their main demand regarding fresh demarcation of federal boundaries to accommodate two Madhes states in the Terai plains.

“Since the amendment bill fails to address issues of Madhesis, indigenous communities, Tharus, Muslims and Dalits we can’t agree to it,” said United Democratic Madhesi Front in a statement.

Madhesi parties accused the government of not being serious to address their demands despite 15 rounds of official and unofficial talks and stated it was irrelevant to sit for more deliberations.

The parties announced plans to burn copies of the amendment bill, hold massive rallies in Terai as well as other parts of the country and oppose government programmes.

Earlier parties in the ruling coalition and opposition Nepali Congress had decided to postpone parliamentary proceedings till December 23 and hold “serious discussions” with the protesting Madhesi parties.

Four Madhesi parties under the banner of UDMF have been protesting against the Constitution for over four months.

Blockade of key border points with India by their members for the past three months have resulted in acute crisis of essential goods, petroleum products and life-saving medicines.

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