The ruling coalition and the agitating Madhesi parties now appear more willing than the recent past to bridge their political gulf.
This follows the readiness on the part of Prime Minister K.P Oli to change the current delineation of provinces through the constitutional amendment.
Leaders of the CPN (UML) and UCPN (Maoist), the two major ruling partners, are positive to the Madhesi demands to ensure proportional and inclusive representation and also to allow for the delineation of constituencies to be based on population.
Interestingly, UPCN (Maoist) chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal has floated the idea of removing hilly areas from the province number 5 and merging them with Province number six and four.
Some influential UML leaders even believe that the formation of a special task force will resolve the dispute related to the five districts in the Tarai—Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kanchanpur and Kailali.
The proposed taskforce will have the authority to make immediate changes to the constitution. So, one can hope that such a taskforce will be able to reach agreement on boundaries more effectively and efficiently.
In fact, the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) also seems ready help mediate the negotiation between the government and the Madhesi parties.
The latest development in the political arena , in principle, is not bad. But there will not be any meaningful progress if both the major political parties and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UMDF) continue to indulge in their self-centric interest.
Some political tycoons belong to the big parties do not want any change in the current seven-state federal model for their own foxy political motives. Similarly, the federal demands of the Madesh-based outfits are also covert as they are largely dictated by India.
The prolonged protests launched by the front in the Terai also smack off Indian involvement.
Carving out one or two provinces from Mechi to Mahakali covering the whole Terai region is one of the major demands of the Madhesi parties. Such demand is strictly inimical to the long-term sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
The seven changes that India wants in Nepal's constitution cunningly back such divisive agenda of the Front. Moreover, it also indicates at the hegemonic desire of the southern neighbour to annex the southern plains into its territory in the long run.
The Madhesi parties know well that their demand is devastating and cannot be fulfilled.
In this context, the million dollar question is whether they will show any amount of sincerity to resolve the dispute in a negotiated way.