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Ruling parties to engage terai ultras

world Updated: Jan 30, 2008 23:29 IST
Anirban Roy
Anirban Roy
Hindustan Times
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The ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) reached an agreement on Tuesday to form a powerful committee to initiate discussions with agitating political and underground outfits in Terai.

The ongoing political instability in the 23 districts in Terai has been a cause of major concern for the members of the SPA during the run up to the Constituent Assembly election, which is scheduled for April 10.

Dialogue with the leaders of both the factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha and United Madheshi Front is being seen as imperative since both parties have threatened to boycott the crucial CA election.

"We would like to initiate immediate talks with the agitating groups of Terai," C.P. Mainali, Left Front chairman said, adding that they were hopeful the Terai issue could be easily resolved.

While both the JTMM factions are fighting for a sovereign Terai, the mainstream political forces are now demanding for establishment of the 23 districts of Terai as an autonomous state.

The Girija Prasad Koirala-led government is now caught between the devil and deep sea over the Terai crisis. Under pressure from the international community and donor countries to hold the CA election, the government is aware that the Terai issue could derail the electoral process.

Moreover, both the JTMM factions have set the pre-condition that they would be ready for political negotiations only under UN supervision. The JTMM leaders are reportedly in close touch with the UN officials.

After taking stock of the situation, some of the leaders, including Sushil Koirala, the acting president of Nepali Congress, have demanded deployment of the Nepal Army in Terai to conduct elections.