February 27, 2016 7:12:14 pm
Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli has said that his visit to India helped in “improving” the ties which had “soured” during the anti-Constitution stir even as the agitating Madhesi front called it a “complete failure” and warned of fresh protests if their demands are not met.
“Earlier the relations between the two neighbours had soured during the Madhes agitation but my visit has helped improve the relations between the two countries,” Oli said, addressing a mass gathering in Bhairahawa yesterday.
Terming his visit as “fruitful”, the Prime Minister said, “As we have no misunderstandings now, our focus will be on implementing the seven-point deal.” He also appealed to the agitating Madhes-based political parties to join the government. “As we have delivered the Constitution, now is the time to focus on development. So, I call on the agitating leaders and Nepali Congress to join the government and participate in the nation building process,” he said.
Oli, however, said that any demand against the national interests will not be addressed. Meanwhile, the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) today held a meeting here to review its protest programmes. It set up a seven-member secretariat to chalk out new strategies and additional protest programmes.
In a statement after the meeting, UDMF termed Oli’s recent visit to India as “complete failure” and said Prime Minister committed a mistake as he made the visit without taking any agenda. The Madhesis, which had announced withdrawal of their protests including the border blockade earlier this month, warned that they would resort to fresh protests if the government did not address their demands promptly.
The Madhesi front decided not to sit for talks until the government comes up with a concrete roadmap to address its demands. In the meeting, it also decided to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister to put up pressure on the government.
Madhesis, who are largely of Indian-origin, led a nearly six-month-long violent protest over better representation in the Parliament and the federal structure of the new Constitution that divides their ancestral homeland that claimed over 50 lives before being called off unexpectedly. Nepal had alleged that the blockade in its southern border with India was imposed by Indian authorities backing the agitation led by Madhesis, a charge India had vehemently denied.
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