September 19, 2018 06:00 AM NPT
By: Suresh Yadav
JANAKPURDHAM, Sept 19: Leaders of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) are sharply divided as the country prepares to celebrate the Constitution Day on Wednesday.
The provincial chapter of the party has issued a notice directing everyone related to the party to mark the day as a black day while the central office of the party has directed the party members and cadres not to do so.
Party chairman Upendra Yadav is silent on the issue.
On Sunday, the working committee of the Province 2 chapter of the party published an official statement claiming that the current constitution was forced into the Madhesi people and the day it was implemented should not be celebrated as a day of achievement but as a black day. However, the Province 2 government comprising of FSPN has informed that such decision of the working committee will not be implemented by the provincial government.
However, the central office of the party has published another statement which contradicts with the decision of the provincial chapter. In a statement addressed by chief of FSFN's central office Prakash Adhikari published on Monday, it has been stated that the party has not taken any decision to mark the day as a black day. The statement directed the party members and cadres to not involve in the black day demonstration since the government has already agreed to amend the constitution.
On Sunday, releasing a statement, FSPN vice-chair Renu Yadav directed the people's representatives from the party in Province 2 not to take part in any program scheduled for Constitution Day celebration.
“The people who were suppressed by the constitution have not forgotten how the constitution was forced on them,” the statement read, adding, “We cannot forget the sacrifices of the people who protested against the constitution. The provincial working committee of the party has decided to mark the day as a black day.”
The working committee of the provincial chapter of the party has decided that the party members and cadres will wear black armbands around their hands, put up black flags in public places and observe a blackout for 15 minutes from 7 pm on the Constitution Day.
FSPN vice-chair and Chief Minister of Province 2 Lalbabu Raut said that he has not been informed about any protest to be organized by the party on the Constitution Day.
“I don't know what decision has the working committee of the party's province chapter taken,” he said, adding, “I will implement the directive sent by the central office.”
FSPN co-chair Rajendra Shrestha said that even thought the party is against the constitution, the party will not observe a black day on the Constitution Day.
“We protested while the constitution was being implemented, we protested even after that,” he told Republica, “Today, FSPN is in upper and lower houses. It would be better if we could make our voices heard through these platforms.”
RJPN to observe black day
While FSFN has been divided over the celebration of the Constitution Day, another tarai-based party Rastriya Janta Party Nepal (RJPN) has announced to stage protests all over the southern districts on September 19. The members of the party presidium, ministers of the provincial government and state ministers have been asked to address the protests in various districts.
Party Coordinator Mahantha Thakur will address the protests in Bara and Parsa; provincial ministers Jitendra Sonal, Ram Naresh Raya and Nabal Kishor Sah will address the rallies in Saptari, Siraha and Dhanusha respectively; while state ministers Dimple Jha, Abhiram Sharma and Suresh Mandal will address the protests in Mahottari, Sarlahi and Rautahat respectively. Other members of the party presidium have been given the responsibility to address protests in other southern districts.