UML gen secy shocked over UDMF volte face on 11-province deal
BANEPA, May 19: Deputy Prime Minister and CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel on Saturday that the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF)´s abrupt volte face on the 11-province federal model has taken him aback.
Pokharel, a key interlocutor involved in inter-party negotiations, revealed that the deal on the 11-province federal model was struck following an understanding with Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, who is also the coordinator of UDMF. Inaugurating the convention of UML Area Number 2 of Kavrepalanchowk district, Pokharel expressed shock over Gachchhadar´s move.
Pokharel said though the parties still differ on the number and names of provinces, the UML would not backtrack from the agreement on 11-province federal model reached on Tuesday. “Differences persist among the parties on the number and names of provinces. But the UML would not backtrack from the 11-province federal model,” he said.
Pokharel, however, claimed that new constitution would be promulgated by May 27 even if UDMF and other ethnic fronts stage protests. “Since Nepal is a multi-ethnic country, UML is firm in its stance not to support the idea of forming ethnic-based provinces,” he said.
He said the provinces would be delineated in line with linguistic, cultural, geographic and historical identity of the region concerned.
On the occasion, Pokharel also stressed on the need for addressing issues such as returning the properties seized during the Maoist insurgency, punishing gross human rights violators and probing into the cases of disappearances.