Madhesis' and Nepal govt reach compromise

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Kathmandu, Feb 25 (UNI) The Nepalese government and the protesting United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) struck a crucial political deal this morning, ending the 12-day Madhes movement.

The deal will clear the deck for smooth passage for Constituent Assembly elections slated for April 10.

The two sides reached compromise on the key UDMF demand - 'One Madhes One Pradesh' - which they said would be decided through the Constituent Assembly. They have agreed to form autonomous Madhes state and other autonomous states.

However, both sides were struggling till 3 am local time today on proper words to be mentioned in the draft, Kantipur reported.

''We have agreed on autonomous Madhes state. But we are still discussing proper words to reflect the desire of Madhesi people regarding the autonomous Madhes state,'' said Hridayesh Tripathi, a Madhesi leader, who was present during the meeting held at Prime minister's residence.

The government and UDMF have also agreed to recognise all those killed in the course of the Madhes movement as martyrs and provide their families with proper compensation.

''The final draft of the agreement will be ready by this morning,'' he said.

The UDMF had called an indefinite strike in the tarai from February 13 demanding that the government fulfill their six-point demand.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist Chairman Prachanda held a separate meeting at Baluwatar and reiterated their commitment to conduct the CA poll on April 10.

The three leaders had also agreed to persuade UDMF to participate in the poll to decide the issue of one Madhes one Pradesh.

Prime Minister Koirala and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula held negotiations with Madhesi leaders.

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