MDHESHI LEADERS said that they do not intend to disintegrate the country.
The Madhesi leaders were responding to concerns from various political parties, including the Mohan Baidya faction of the UCPN (Maoist), over the recent statement made by Defense Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari, who is also a central leader of the Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic
Bhandari, during a function in the capital on Monday, had said that nothing can prevent 22 districts of the Tarai from seceding if the state continued to be indifferent to their concerns.
Rameshwor Raya Yadav, senior vice-chairman of MPRF-D, said his party does not intend to disintegrate the country. “Our party has an agenda but it has nothing to do with dividing the country on any grounds,”
Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Republican (MPRF-R) Chairman and Minister for Information and Communications Jaya Prakash Gupta defending Bhandari said that the latter made the statement in a different context. “He only meant that the Madhesi front wants to see an autonomous Madhes province with the territorial integrity of the country intact,” Gupta added.
Vice-chairman of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) and Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hridayesh Tripathi also defended Bhandari. “He (Bhandari) spoke on the need for democratization of the Nepal Army (NA). Those who do not want democratization in the NA are criticizing Bhandari,” stated Tripathi.
Likewise, Chairman of Sadbhawana Party and Minister for Health and Population Rajendra Mahato urged not to misconstrue Bhandari´s statement. “He did not mean to incite secession,” Mahato told Republica.