CPN-Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa (Badal) said that Nepal would go for a federal setup only after the Constituent Assembly elections. “Bringing in a federal system prior to the CA elections will be unfortunate and create dispute in the country,” Badal said, adding that issues of self-governance for the ethnic groups and autonomy were part of the Maoist agenda. Talking to journalists in Itahari Thapa said that the second address to the nation by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had addressed the Madhesi movement, adding that the country should adopt a federal setup after the elections to a constituent assembly.
Badal arrived in Biratanagar with a heavy security detail in the run-up to the mass gathering there on 18th February. Labeling the recent controversial speech by acting Chief of Nepal Army’s Western Divisional Headquarters, Dilip SJB Rana advocating a military resolution to the Madheshi unrest, a “conspiracy”, Badal said that political speech by the Rana was part of conspiracy hatched by the King. He further said that the civil society, eight parties, and people from all quarters should protest against such statements from non-political wings of the government.