MINISTERS DISMISS Baidya faction’S demand,This may affect Maoist hold in Madhes

Members of the coalition rule out the possibility of any action against the statement of Saratsingh Bhandary. “Morcha reached the agreement with the Maoist faction, which, like the Morcha itself, stood for the middle path on issues of peace and constitution,” said Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Nandan Dutt. He added that the four-point pact was signed with full knowledge of the Baidya faction. Dutt also said the government would complete its mandated tasks of furthering peace and constitution writing.

Echoing similar views, Local Development Minister Top Bahadur Rayamjhi said Baidya’s statement was his personal and that it had nothing to do with the government. He dubbed the statement of the Baidya camp reflective of the “Panchayat-era nationalism”.

Asked whether this statement and the subsequent move of the Baidya faction would affect the party’s hold in Madhes, Rayamajhi ruled out such possibilities. However, observers believe that this might affect the party’s position in the southern plain. Analyst and Madhesi affairs watcher Chandra Kishore says that the statement and the moves of the Baidya faction could hamper the party in the region, where they have been trying to consolidate their hold. “The alliance between the Morcha and the Maoists is an attempt on the part of the latter to gain grounds in Madhes,” states Kishore. As the party is weaker in the region in terms of organisation, the Maoists have been trying to forge alliance with the Madhes-based parties, he argued.

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