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Lone crusader




KIRAN PANDAY

What are the major issues in the tarai?
The biggest one is that madhesi people do not have the right to the tarai's resources. The government should let go of its colonial policies and let the people in the tarai decide. A federal structure can address these issues and search for solutions. So madhesis must be well represented in the constituent assembly elections.

Why did you quit Madhesi Janadhikar Forum?
The MJF was a group of likeminded individuals concerned about the tarai. After the Madhes Uprsing, the Forum registered itself as a party. I felt it needed to mature in a different way. I plan to push the madhesi agenda and find solutions to madhesi problems differently, which is why I quit.

What will your political career look like now?
We need a powerful group, which will relentlessly raise madhesi issues in the streets and in parliament. The future of Nepal is in federalism and people in the tarai want a regional party focussing on their issues and grievances. We are working towards forming such a party.

People say that the CA elections cannot be held in the tarai.
It's not enough to talk to just the armed groups or just the MJF. The eight parties must understand that all the agitating groups, armed and unarmed, need to be brought to the table if the government really wants to solve the tarai's problems and avoid trouble there during the elections.

What is your relationship with the NC like?
Legally, I'm a Congress MP, but it's up to the party to decide how close it thinks I am to it. Neither the NC nor the MJF have ever asked me to clarify my relationship with the other. I am an MP only because I feel close to the madhesi issue.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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