On 8 March 2019, there was a formal end to the six-year long secessionist movement in Nepal led by CK Raut by reaffirming 11-point agreement signed between the government of Nepal and Raut Alliance. In this agreement, Raut has had a peaceful safe landing into mainstream politics. It is a positive outcome of Nepalese identity politics and its impact is also seen in the Tarai-Madhes politics. The full of credit of this agreement goes to the PM Oli who has played a significant role and used his political mileage to resolve the issue of separatist agenda. Back to 2006, 12-point Comprehensive Peace Accord was held between the seven parties’ alliance and Nepal Communist Party (Maoist). Erstwhile PM G.P. Koirala took a significant step to end the Maoist insurgency then. Now, the same type of step can be seen in the 11-point agreement made by the PM and Raut-led alliance. Thus, this agreement is a win-win situation for the country.
It is a positive message and a step forward for Nepalese politics, but what needs to be seen is how both sides constantly follow up this 11-point agreement, which will determine the prospects of Nepalese political future. The second point in the 11-point agreement is not clear with the Raut Alliance interpreting it as a point to a Referendum. For this, the government had to clarify that there was no hinting at Referendum at this point of time. On the other hand, the main opposition party, Nepali Congress and other fringes parties have said that this agreement by the government with CK Raut creates distrust in the national unity. The referendum issue will disintegrated the country’s national integration and sovereignty. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba stated that some of the points made in the 11-point agreement were anti-national anti-democratic2.
“Through the second point of the agreement, the government side, internalizing the sovereignty of the people, has given us the political space for referendum3”. This point affects the current political scenario while CK alliance used this point as referendum portion. Similarly, in the provision of constitution of Nepal (2015), Article 275 of the statute says, “If a decision is made by a two-thirds majority of the total number of the existing members of the federal Parliament that it is necessary to hold a referendum with respect to any matter of national importance, decision on that matter may be taken by way of referendum.”4. Referring to this point, coordinator of the leadership of council (RJP-N), Mahendra Raya Yadav also said, “Second point agreement breaks the provision of the constitution. Even Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa could not clarify about that in the parliament. The doubts are, therefore, growing,” 5.
Lastly, Referendum is one of the basic parts of democracy which helps in strengthening democracy. It is initiated on the wishes of people’s will and national interest. Important political and social arguments starts the referendum process. So Nepal also to carefully protect the theme of referendum, it is not for one group, identity of one community, rather it is a complex issue of national importance. The government should not use double meaning words in the agreement signed with any party, groups or otherwise,
- See 11-point agreement, newspotlight online.https://www.spotlightnepal.com/2019/03/09/highlights-eleven-points-agreement-signed-between-pm-oli-and-ck-raut/ (March 9, 2019). Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- CK Raut and his party, Alliance for Independent Madhes, will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
- They will follow democratic means to address dissatisfactions of people, including those of Tarai-Madhes.
- They have agreed to settle all differences through democratic means.
- They expressed their commitment to ensure autonomy and equality.
- The government agreed to withdraw all cases slapped against AIM cadres and all AIM cadres and leaders will be released from jail/custody without any condition.
- AIM leaders will not be prosecuted for publicity materials produced in the past, but it was agreed the party wouldn’t publish any such material in future.
- AIM cadres and leaders can enjoy all rights guaranteed by the constitution, including the right to open political parties.
- The family of Ram Manohar Yadav, AIM cadre who died in jail, will be provided with adequate compensation and one member of the family will be provided with a government job.
- Government will provide treatment to all AIM cadres who were injured during the movement.
- The government agreed to treat AIM as a democratic political force.
- The agreement came into force on Friday what are in Eleven Points Agreement.
- Rishi Ram Baral. (2019). some points in government’s agreement with CK Raut anti-national: Deuba. The Himalayan Times, March 12. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- Tika R Pradhan. (2019). Oli’s aim for political mileage and Raut’s quest for safe landing led to 11-point deal. The Kathmandu Post, March 10. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- Sanjib Bagale. (2019). Raut has no hold in Madhes: Coordinator of RJP leadership council. Setopati, March 11. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
Author: Chakra Bam