Federalism is an achievement of the Madhes movement. All seven parties agreed to an autonomous Madhes and the 8 and 22 point agreements clearly mention this clause. There are three reasons why we are going for federalism: high economic growth, good governance and end discrimination. If these concerns are addressed, the federal structure should not be an issue.
You have said that three to four Madhesi states can be agreed upon.
Firstly states will be made on the basis of identity and capacity, not ethnicity. Secondly, ethnic states are not possible in Nepal. Let's say we form a Newa state in Kathmandu because Newars have a majority here. But they can't have more rights than other people who live in Kathmandu. Likewise, everyone living in the Madhes, regardless of whether they are Pahadis or Madhesis will have equal rights. No group will have special rights over the other.
How can a pro-Madhes party like yours embrace Pahadi people as its own?
Our party is active in 30 districts, out of which eight are in the hilly region. We have two central committee members who are of hill origin. We won't repeat the discrimination that we ourselves had to endure. Our fight is not against any community. We just want the state to stop its discriminatory practices.
Will we have the new constitution within the deadline?
Not at the pace we are going. Now we hear there is a conspiracy to bring out a constitution without federalism. This is unacceptable. If this happens it will be a betrayal to the Madhes movement and the people's uprising of 2006.