Kathmandu: Nepal's Indian- origin Madhesis, protesting division of their ancestral homeland in the newly-promulgated Constitution, today agreed to hold talks with the government from Tuesday to find a peaceful solution to an unrest that has claimed over 40 lives.
The formal talks between the government talks team and the Joint Madhesi Front (JMF) - the main agitating group of Madhesi parties - will formally kick start on Tuesday, Forest Minister Mahesh Acharya said.
"We have held telephone conversation with Mahantha Thakur, president of Terai Madhes Democratic Party, a key member of the front on Monday and they have agreed to sit for talks on Tuesday," he said.
Acharya is the coordinator of the three-member talks team formed by the three major political parties to hold talks with the agitating Madhesi and Tharu groups.
More than 40 people have died in the agitations launched by the Madhesis and Tharu ethnic groups in southern plains, which entered 52nd day today, hitting hard normal life.
The agitating Madhesi group has formed a four-member talks team to hold talks with the government. New demarcation of boundary for the southern plains, more rights and representation for the Indian-origin Madhesi people are the major demands of the agitating groups. They are inhabitants of Nepal's Terai region bordering India and opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces.
Supply of fuel has been obstructed for the past 12 days due to the ongoing agitation and security tightened by Indian security and customs officials at the border check points on the pretext of worsening security in the southern Nepal.
The talks between government's talk team and Federal Democratic Front, a moderate alliance of Madhesi parties, is already underway for the last three days. The talks were heading towards a positive direction, the Minister said.
The formation of a national consensus government, ongoing agitation in the southern Nepal and the supply of fuel were the main issues for discussion during the meetings of three major political parties and 30 party alliance held today at the Prime Minister's Office.
During the meeting of the three major parties, the top leaders have underlined the need to continue dialogue with different agitating groups of Terai.