Nepali Times
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"I am also a Madhesi", Himal Khabarbatrika



BIKRAM RAI

There is talk of a new wave in UML. What are you planning?
When it comes to the peace process and national politics, CPN-UML moves with a progressive democratic perspective. We will take a balanced approach to identify and solve the problems in our society. Initially we were divided in our understanding of the Maoist's motives. But their unchanged stance has brought us together and we are now a united party.

Some people say UML's leadership is complicated, while others call it "a party of Pahadi pundits", what do you have to say to say about this?
The party was not formed for the sake of few thousand votes or for a few seats in the CA. Rather our aim to is work towards a prosperous Nepal, while being sensitve towards the sentiments of people from all castes, ethnicities, regions, religions, genders and professions. We are against dictatorship and fully support democracy. There is no chauvinism in that.

But your own ethnic CA members disagree and have defied the party whip.
In our party, just like in the country, the lines between democracy and anarchy have been blurred. If one does not agree with an issue, there is a tendency to break laws and express dissatisfaction. We have to be careful of this behaviour.

In your recent speech in Dolakha you said "new citizens cannot break the Tarai". What did you mean?
I am also a Madhesi, and have been living here for generations. It is not appropriate for recent settlers to challenge the Madhesi identity of earlier inhabitants. Many old settlers are categorised as "others", the parameters of this category need to be explained. Nepal should not be divided. Regardless of our caste, religion or language, we are a single country and the idea of driving a certain group out from a region will not work here. We have to create a modern democratic society that respects the constitution, law and equality.



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


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