Lekhraj Bhatt: I have no problem giving up this post. I am the son of the far west first and then a member of my party. The people of the far west have been betrayed again. This protest is to ensure their rights. The way the SRC has divided far west is not acceptable to us. The entire region shares a common history, culture and heritage. I have always said that the indigenous people of Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur are also Khas Aryans. Our demand is an integrated gar-west province.
Won't other ethnicities be deprived of their rights if the far west is declared as a Khas state?
We the Khas Aryans are the majority in this region. And yet we have no rights here. I have always maintained that carving the country into ethnic states is not good. But if they want to restructure Nepal on an ethnic basis, we should get a Khas state too.
Why didn't you protest against your party when it proposed a divided far west before?
I had and I was labeled an 'anti-federalist' in my own party for saying this. I was also called anti-Tharu. I think our party did not act maturely enough at the time.
Are you trying to become a leader of the Bahun-Chettris?
Not at all. I am just saying that the rights of Khas people should also be respected. If Madhesis and Janjatis fought for their rights, should we not fight against being categorised as 'others' in our own land?