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Lack of unity failed Madhesi protest in Terai, says senior Nepali journalist

Timalsina was of the opinion that though the Madhesi Leaders they claim to be half of the country’s population but it is not true.

Published: 04th June 2016 03:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2016 03:28 PM   |  A+A-

By ANI

KATHMANDU: Citing geographical conditions as one of the reasons behind the failure of the Madhesi protest, Prakash Timalsina, a Kathmandu-based senior journalist said the lack of unity between groups was another factor responsible for it.

“The demographic condition of terai is pointed to be the main reason for failure. Madhesi Leaders they also have said that the demonstration in the border side was not supported by the Madhesis living near the highway or the Northern side of terai.

There is dominance of so called Pahadi’s in the Northen side of the Terai and upon failing to gain support from them resulted in the failure of the movement, the Madhesi leaders are now confessing,” he told ANI.

Timalsina was of the opinion that though the Madhesi Leaders they claim to be half of the country’s population but it is not true.

“ Madhesis constitute about 31 percent of the total population of the country. In terai 31% are Madhesis whereas remaining about 70% percent as per their term are Non-Madhesi. Likewise, talking about the geography the madhesis claims 35% of the total area of Nepal as Madhesh. The remaining 60-65% of the land is claimed to be of Non-madhesis according to the Madhesi Leaders claims and the remaining population are now being attacked emotionally, ” he said.

Regarding the change in Constitution which is one of main demand of the agitating parties, Timalsina said that they need to first talk with the government, which they have flatly refused.

“The Madhesi leaders have come to Kathmandu but are not willing to sit on the table for the talks despite the request of the government, which is showing the problem. There is no big problem visible in the High level committee formed; the only problem is the willingness to come to the table for talk. So no big problem is visible in between the Government and agitating party,” he said.

The Federal Alliance comprising of a dozen of Madhesi based parties have last month intensified their protest by holding capital centric protests to pressurize Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli led- government in fulfilling their demands.

He said that though the government is ready to make the Political committee and solve the remaining existed problems but there exist confusion between the parties.

“There is confusion about the fixing of constituencies. There is no consensus whether to accept the previous report of marking the states as the base or take it as a reference material. The government as well as the three major parties are in intention of considering the previous report as reference material rather than accepting it as a foundation. The three parties stress that there was no need of another CA Election if the report prepared by the State Reconciliation Commission and Reconciliation committee was kept in the center, ” he said.

He questioned that in the report there is provision of two states, if any agreement is made for the demarcation of the two states at present then what is the use of talks?

“This question is prevalent everywhere. The Madhesi leaders also are demanding the government's view. If they are making the demand for government's view then what is the use of talks that is timely scheduled, what is the use of high level committee? These questions are creating obstacle. Now the Madhesi leaders also are confessing that most of their 11 point demands are more emotional so I think this transition would not last long. Now there is only the question about trust and intention of the Madhesi Leaders, ” he said.

Talking about the budget that was announced for fiscal 2016-2017, he said that most of the projects launched targeted Madhesh and Terai region. 

“The government also have allocated most of the budget for agriculture, irrigation are allocated for the Terai or low lying plains of Nepal. The Madhesi leaders, Madhesh based analysts also accept that high portion of budget is separated for Terai and this is for the first time that Madhesh have got such priority in budget till now known history, ” he added.

On his opinion about the Morcha's demonstration in Capital, he said that the agitating parties are on an attempt to succeed their demand.

“ They have made a strong presence in Madhesh during the protest and have entered Kathmandu with knowledge that it will be a complete debacle if they are centered only in Low lying areas. They felt a strong essence of giving it a national shape and they are welcomed here. But the expectation which they have of getting the wide range support is overturned with the dim support. But they are on attempt to succeed it. They have succeed to take their protest movement from Terai to Hilly and Himalayan region of the country too and there is a strong essence of our support to land this movement successfully,” he said.

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