Kathmandu: Nepal government on Friday made a fresh appeal to Madhesis to seek peaceful solution to the political crisis through talks even as the agitating parties announced nationwide protests beginning next week in their new bid to continue their struggle against the Constitution.
Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, a senior Madhesi leader himself, called the Terai-centric parties to the negotiating table.
Talking to reporters at Biratnagar Airport in eastern Nepal, Gachchhadar said there was no alternative to holding talks and that the demands of Madhesis - largely of Indian- origin - could only be resolved through Constitution amendment.
Gachchhadar, who is also the chair of the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (Democratic) - the only Madhesi party in the coalition government but not part of the agitation, said that the government was continuing talks with all sides as consensus and collaboration among the major parties was essential to implement the Constitution.
His remarks came on a day when the Federal Alliance, an alliance of the agitating seven Madhes-based parties and other ethnic political groups, unveiled fresh protest programmes to press for their demands of greater representation and more rights to the ethnic minorities of southern Nepal.
As per the protest plan, the alliance will picket Singha Durbar, the main administrative building of the country, situated in the capital on May 14.
The alliance has decided to launch fresh protest programmes for 15 days which will be organised in all three geographical regions - Terai, Hill and Mountain. As per the protest plan, the alliance will submit protest note on April 27 and put up black flags at government offices on April 29. Likewise, protest assemblies will be held in several other districts.
The Madhesi parties led the six months-long violent agitation, mainly to protest against the seven-province federal model enshrined in the Constitution.
Nearly 60 people lost their lives during the agitation that also disrupted the supplies of petroleum products and cooking gas among other essentials to Nepal, leading to severe hardships to the people. The agitation, however, ended unexpectedly in February just before Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's maiden visit to India without any political agreement.