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‘Deal within reach’

Sunday, January 10th, 2016
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Members of a joint taskforce formed by the top three parties and the Madhesi Morcha on Sunday claimed that ‘negotiations were heading in a positive direction’ and ‘a deal now looked within reach’.

They said that they thoroughly discussed the 11 points of demand  presented by the Morcha and will soon prepare the framework for a deal after some more rounds of negotiations.

Hridayesh Tripathi, a Madhesi member of the taskforce, told journalists: “Talks were positive, and I believe you will soon get good news.”

Rajendra Shrestha, another taskforce member representing the Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, said: “We hope to reach a deal soon.”

Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal, a taskforce member from the ruling UML party, said: “We are closer to an agreement.”

The taskforce was formed to narrow down differences between the two sides and strike a deal to end the Tarai crisis. Sadbhavana Party, a member of the Morcha, has not sent its representative to the taskforce. But it says it will accept the taskforce’s decision.

The Morcha has spearheading an agitation in the southern plains region for the last five months, demanding only two provinces in the Tarai.

But Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Gachhadar on Sunday ruled out possibility of creating just two provinces in the Tarai. He said: “People in Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa districts do not want to be in the Madhes province.”

Gachhadar is the only leader of a Madhes-based party in the UML-led government. His party, the MJF (D), was a member of the Madhesi Morcha before an eight-point deal – the framework of Nepal’s new constitution – was signed in June, 2015.

Gachhadari reiterated that his proposal to create three provinces in the Tarai could be the best way out.

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