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Nepal PM Oli appeals to Madhesi parties to call off protests

Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli has made a fresh appeal to Madhesi parties protesting against the new constitution to call of their stir and come for talks.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2015 01:31 IST
Utpal Parashar
Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli addresses the Parliament, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli addresses the Parliament, in Kathmandu, Nepal.(AP File Photo)

Newly elected Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli has made a fresh appeal to Madhesi parties protesting against the new constitution to call of their stir and come for talks.

Addressing the parliament for the first time since his election last Sunday, Oli said the “genuine demands” of the protesting parties can be accommodated by amending the statute.

“All their genuine demands can be addressed by amending the constitution. I therefore appeal to them to call off protests and sit for talks,” the prime minister stated.

Despite one Madhes-based party joining Oli’s government, four other parties from the region bordering India have decided to continue their two-month-long agitation till their demands are addressed.

Madhesi parties upset with demarcation of federal states in the statute have been blockading border points with India for past three weeks -- resulting in a severe crisis of petroleum and other essential products in Nepal.

Though there were few informal and a formal round of talks earlier this month between the government and the protesting parties, they took a back seat once the process to elect a new government started.

Oli told Parliament that his government is making efforts at political and diplomatic levels to ensure that the crisis gets over soon.

Newly appointed deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kamal Thapa will be leaving for New Delhi on Saturday on a two-day visit to hold talks with Indian leadership about easing the supply of goods from across the border.

“I am hopeful that all kinds of bitterness between the two nations will end and we will be able to move ahead in a new manner,” Thapa told media persons.