KATHMANDU, Mar 10: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Saturday tried to project himself as “a friend of Madhes”, capitalizing on the agreement signed with secessionist leader CK Raut to mend ties with Madhesi voters.
A day after the government signed an 11-point accord with the Raut-led Independent Madhes Alliance in which the latter has committed itself to giving up secession, PM Oli announced that the accord was further proof that he was a true friend of Mahes and the Madhesi people.
“I grew up in Madhes. I started my political struggle here. How can I be against Madhes,” Oli told a gathering of thousands in Rautahat on Saturday. The NCP has been struggling to win over core Madhesi constituencies since relations with them soured over the party’s stance on “some provision of the new constitution which many in Madhes view as discriminatory”.
Urging his audience not to be swayed by the rhetoric of Madhes-based parties, Oli said that his own party, NCP, was the only party sincere about the development of Madhes. The NCP, Oli claimed, would head a two-third government for yet one more term.
Referring to the agreement signed with Raut, Oli said the accord cleared all possible hurdles to peace, prosperity and equality in Madhes. He said the government would now concentrate all efforts on development work in Madhes.
“Work is in process for a second international airport and a fast-track road. The government would also build embankments to address the problem of flooding,” Oli said, adding that the government was spending 2,520 million on development in Madhes.
Also addressing the gathering, NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that the NCP was the only party capable of delivering on the aspirations for development in Madhes. He said that people would be able to see some visible changes in the coming days.
“Terai-Madhes always has a special place in the communist movement. It has always remained a bastion of communist revolution and will remain so forever,” Dahal said
Other NCP leaders including Madhav Kumar Nepal lauded the role of Madhesi people in every democratic struggle.