Parties near 11-province model, nomenclature still at odds
Leaders informed that the meeting held at the Army Integration Special Committee, participated by senior leaders of major political powers, had inched closer to adopt 11 federal province model.
Though the parties had agreed to give the right to name the province to the state itself, parties remained at odds over the boundaries of the proposed states.
Sources in the know how claimed that the consensus could not be reached after the Madheshi Front leaders denied to inch off from their demand of ‘one madhesh one pradhesh.’
Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun and Congress leader Arjun Narsingh KC substantiated the information while exiting the meeting.
“We have neared consensus on adopting 11 province federal model and though complete understanding on the issue has not been reached, this will be the number of states,” UML Chairman Khanal said while exiting the meeting.
“Four side talks are going on along with high level talks. Though no consensus has been reached so far, we will continue efforts to forge consensus by tomorrow,” Khanal added.
Pun said that talks were centered on finding common grounds to formulate 11 non-ethnic states and informed that parties were inching closer to finalize such a model.
“Maoists, Congress, UML and the Madheshi Front are closer to 11 provincial model,” said Pun adding, “possibly parties will reach consensus on this issues.”
Political parties failed to strike a deal on the issue after the Madheshi Front expressed some reservations on it, informed Pun.
KC also informed that parties have neared consensus on 11 state federal model and agreed to provide constitutional authority to the provinces, to keep its name.
Friday’s meeting centered on dividing the terai territory of the terai region. While Congress and UML jointly proposed to divide the whole of the region into four regions, Front and Maoists have opposed it.
Congress and UML proposed to delineate the provinces along with boundaries and to divide the terai region into four provinces, claimed the source. They had proposed to mark the region from Koshi to Sarlahi as the first state, Bara, Parsa and Rautahat districts as the second state, area ranging from Nawalparasi to Bardiya as the third state and the districts beyond Karnali as the fourth state.
The source further claimed that though the Maoists seemed flexible on the Congress-UML proposal, it proposed four state proposal.
Though the three bigwigs neared consensus on each others’ proposal, the Madheshi Front is learned to have denied from wavering from its demand of “One Madhes One Province,” the source informed.
After the Front’s proposal faced music from the bigwigs, Madhesi Front leaders have bargained to form two states in the terai region at the most. Despite the reservations, leaders claimed that the issue will be resolved by Saturday. “The meeting could not be resolved after reservations from the Madheshi Front leaders. But we are hopeful to troubleshoot those problems by tomorrow,” said Maoist leader Pun. He further informed that the inconclusive discussions were also held on bringing Makwanpur and Chitwan under the center’s rule.
Though parties have inched closer on the number of states, they are still odds over the name, boundaries, and ethnic priory rights. While the Maoists and the Madheshi Front have stood in favor of unitary-ethnic identity federal states, the Congress and UML have stood in favor of multiple-ethnic federal provinces.
Oli and company foiled consensus
In Friday’s meeting Maoist Chairman Prachanda had called on all senior leaders to shed up their partisan and personal interests to resolve the present status quo, so as to deliver the nation from transition. Though Congress chief Koirala and UML Chief Khanal agreed to the proposal and expressed willingness to show flexibility on their respective stand, UML leader K P Oli protested against the compromise.
Oli protested against possible compromise to name the states along ethnic lines. Along with Oli, the Madheshi Front also denied to create more than two federal states in terai region opposing the proposal to create 3 to 4 states in the region, tabled jointly by the lead political parties.
Along with protesting against the proposal, the Madheshi leaders also warned that the Madhesh will ‘burn’ from Saturday, informed a leader to TNP.