MADHESHI MORCHA says won’t accept non-federalist constitution

KATHMANDU, March 18: The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of five ruling Madhesi parties, said on Sunday that it would not accept any constitution that is not federalist. The party has also announced a movement for federalism based on identity and inclusion.

“We want to make it clear that federalism, identity and inclusive state restructuring are our political bottom line. So, the Madhesi alliance won´t accept a consititution which is not federalist,” said Jitendera Dev, the general secretary of the Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), a constituent of UDMF.

The Madhesi parties made public their position at a time when some leaders of non-Madhesi parties, have recently made statements saying constitution can be promulgated pending decision on federal structure of the country.

According to Dev, the meeting concluded that Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and ´a group within UCPN (Maoist)´ are hatching conspiracy against federalizing the country.

Given the fast approaching deadline for promulgating constitution and persisting differences among the parties, there are fears that the constitution is likely to be promulgated without deciding about federalism.

“The UDMF calls for cooperation and unity among all pro-federalism parties to fight the consipracies against federalism,” reads a press statement released by the Madhesi alliance after the meeting.

The Madhesi alliance also decided to organize mass gathering in Kathmandu, Birgunj, Biratnagar and Nepalgunj to exert pressure for timely promulgation of new federalist constitution with identity and inclusive state restructuring.

Similarly, the meeting urged the Maoist party and the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) to be flexible on rank determination of the Maoist ex-combatants during integration.

Meanwhile, MPRF-D took strong exception to the government decision to provide Rs 20 million to the Everest expedition team of the Maoist party. However, later in the afternoon, the Maoist expedition team decided not to take money from the government.

The meeting will be also held on Monday morning to discuss the progress made in the four-point agreement reached between the UCPN (Maoist) and the Madhesi alliance in August 2011.

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