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Thursday, August 7th, 2014
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onlinekhabar.com, 4 August

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Madhesi leaders from all parties together when he was in Kathmandu. But judging from their body language, the leaders seem to have been  disappointed with what he had to say.

During the meeting, TMLP Chairman Mahantha Thakur and Sadbhavana Chairman Rajendra Mahato complained that they were discriminated against by the Nepali state. “But Modi told us we must attempt to join all regions together,” said Madhes Samata Party Chairman Meghraj Nishadh.

NC leader Amresh Kumar Singh reportedly asked Modi why he used the word ‘Tarai’ instead of  ‘Madhes’ and why he talked only about projects in the hills. “There is poverty and unequal development, so I talked about developing the Madhes,” Singh told onlinekhabar.com after the visit.

During his speech to parliament, Modi talked about Nepal’s mountains, hills and plains being one, and heaped praise on Gorkha soldiers. Normally, Nepal’s Madhesi leaders don’t even want to hear the word ‘Gorkhali’. This, Singh confirms, is what bugged them.

“Modi told us India would help in the development of Madhes but requested us to rise above anti-hill sentiments,” one leader said afterwards. He added Modi said they should think the country, not its regions. This stance was confirmed by messages released by Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

The leaders reportedly also told Modi that the political aspirations of Madhesi people would only be fulfilled if federalism was based on Madhesi identity. But in reply, Modi reminded them to make a garland of many kinds of flowers.

Original

http://www.onlinekhabar.com/2014/08/176179/

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