KATHMANDU, Feb 16: Minister for Information and Communications Jaya Prakash Gupta who is in the center of controversy over his remarks on territorial integrity of the country called on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav at the latter’s office on Thursday afternoon.
In a letter submitted to the president, Gupta admitted that he had made such remarks.
Speaking with reporters after meeting with the president, Gupta alleged that the major three parties—UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and UML—have ignored the Madhes-related issues.
“Madhesi issues such as identification, recognition of Madhes state, guarantee of Madhesi representation on all sectors of the country and recognition of Madhesi languages, among others, should be properly addressed by the big parties,” Gupta said.
Expressing his deep concern over the issue, President Yadav on Sunday asked Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai to caution his ministers against making such remarks.
Gupta had told a group of media persons that the Madhes region may break its relation with the state within two to three months if the issues raised by Madhesi leaders are not addressed.
15feb.Minister for Information and Communications Jaya Prakash Gupta told the cabinet on Tuesday that he would not “apologize under any circumstances” for his recent remarks on territorial integrity of the country.
“I will not apologize for what I said even if parliament remains obstructed for a year,” a source quoted Gupta as saying at the cabinet meeting.
Gupta took time in the cabinet meeting to respond to criticisms in parliament for his remarks that Tarai would disintegrate from the state within two/three months if the problems in Tarai were not addressed. Lawmakers from the opposition party have also demanded his resignation for his remarks.
Speaking in the cabinet, Gupta also took strong exception to the concerns expressed by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai over his remarks. “The remarks I made related to a political problem,” the source quoted Gupta as saying, “I am concerned over whether a ceremonial president can discuss such an issue with the prime minister.”
Gupta also took strong exception to the prime minister´s press advisor Ram Rijan Yadav making public the president´s concerns over his remarks.
At the meeting, the prime minister told Gupta that he met the president to discuss the peace process and constitution writing and Gupta´s remarks cropped up during the meeting.