Madhes moves into election mode

May 23, 2017 00:10 AM Suresh Yadav


JANAKPUR, May 23: Madhesi political parties are gradually moving into election mode following the successful conclusion of the first phase of the local elections. 

Upendra Yadav, the president of the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), has been visiting different villages for his election campaign. On his recent campaign, he said, “We have been taking this election as a challenge. However, our fight for constitution amendment and prioritizing Madhes-based agenda is also being given continuity.” 

He also mentioned that his party plans to forge electoral alliance with the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) and plans to pick candidates through mutual understanding.

Similarly, Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) have also stepped up their preparations for the second phase of the local polls. According to the parties, they have already decided their candidates for most of the wards and the process to pick candidates for some remaining wards is under way. 

Santosh Yadav, secretary of Dhanusha chapter of NC, informed that the party has planned to recommend candidates with high chances of winning by May 24 and finalize their candidates by May 28.  

Similarly, UML leaders said they have not been able to finalize their candidates due to the government's plan to increase the number of local units. “The government has been planning to add more local units in various tarai districts, so we have yet to finalize our candidates,” informed UML leader Shatrughna Mahato. “We will pick candidates once the local units are finalized.”

On the other hand, the Maoist Center has already finalized its candidates for most of the local units. According to the party's district president, Jhalku Yadav, the party plans to finalize all its candidates within this week. 

Even the RJPN, which has been demanding amendment to the constitution before the second phase of the elections, has started the process to pick candidates in various villages. The party had not participated in the first phase of the local elections to press its demand for constitution amendment. But, the district-level leaders of the party have started their preparations for the second phase elections.  

Meanwhile, RJPN's district coordinator Parameshwar Sah said they will not start election preparations until and unless constitution is amended. “We are preparing not for the elections, but for strikes” Sah said, adding, “Local elections will be conducted as scheduled if the constitution is amended without delay. Otherwise they will have to postpone the elections.”


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