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Nepal's Madhesi leaders meet Sushma Swaraj


Leaders of Nepal's Indian-origin Madhesi community, whose protest against the country s new Constitution has crippled supplies from India, today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who called for a "speedy" political solution to the crisis. The leaders who arrived here to hold talks with top Indian leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, apprised Swaraj of their position on various contentious issues.
Swaraj, on her part, said India supports an "inclusive Nepal".

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj called for broad based ownership of Constitution & encouraged speedy political solution and return to normalcy on that basis," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup later tweeted. The agitation by Madhesi leaders in Terai region bordering India has crippled services in Nepal as the protesters have blocked all border trade points between the two countries, triggering shortage of supplies including fuel and medicines. The Madhesi community is opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces under the new Constitution and has been demanding adequate protection of their rights.

Three major demands of the Madhesi community include re-demarcation of the boundary, inclusion of proportionate representation and allocation of Parliament seats on the basis of population. The senior leaders of Joint Madhesi Morcha who have come here for talks include Mahantha Thakur, president of Terai Madhes Democratic Party, Upendra Yadav, president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum-Nepal, Rajendra Mahato, president of Sadbhawana Party, and Mahendra Yadav, president of Terai Madhes Sadbhawana Party.

On Saturday, these leaders had a crucial meeting with Nepal s major political parties including main opposition Nepali Congress and ruling alliance members CPN-UML and Unified CPN-Maoist to discuss ways to resolve the ongoing crisis.

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