New Delhi: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met top leaders of Nepal’s restive Madhesi community, who are agitating against the country’s new constitution adopted in September, and urged a speedy political solution for restoring normalcy in the Himalayan nation.
“EAM @SushmaSwaraj meets Madhesi Morcha leaders in New Delhi. Reaffirms support for an inclusive Nepal,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.
He added that Sushma Swaraj called for a “broad based ownership of constitution and encouraged speedy political solution and return to normalcy on that basis”.
The Madhesi leaders’ visit comes close on the heels of the visit of Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa.
The Madhesi Morcha has been protesting for almost four months in Nepal’s southern Terai plains, blocking movement of vehicles between India and land-locked Nepal thus creating widespread shortages in the Himalayan nation.
They have expressed serious reservations over some of the contents of the new constitution as well as boundaries of the proposed seven federal units.
Those who reached Delhi include Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party chairman Mahanta Thakur, Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum chairman Upendra Yadav, Sadbhavana Party chairman Rajendra Mahto, and Tarai Madhes Sadbhavana Party chairman Mahendra Yadav.
Second rung leaders of the Madhesi Morcha had earlier reached New Delhi.
The Madhesi leaders will also meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav and Nationalist Congress Party’s D.P. Tripathi.
The Madhesis are demanding, among others, increased political representation, proportional inclusion in state organs, correction in citizenship provisions and revision in federal boundaries.
Over 50 people have died in violent protests that have been raging across the Nepali Terai since September last.