LAHAN, Dec 25: A fresh debate has begun within the two Madhes-based parties, which have emerged as the fourth and fifth largest parties in the recently held parliamentary elections, whether to join the government of the left parties or stay in the opposition.
As CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli has expedited negotiations with senior leaders of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) over the formation of the government, speculations are rife that the 'arch rivals' UML and the Madhes-based parties would join hands in the government formation.
FSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav did not rule out the possibility of joining the UML-led government.
"Our cooperation with this government depends on its readiness to address our agenda. The UML as the largest party has additional responsibility on its shoulder. The leadership of the largest party has to change its perspective toward Madhes," he said.
Raj Kishor Yadav, a senior leader of RJPN, said they can be a part of the UML-led government only if Chairman Oli stood positively toward constitution amendment while honoring fresh mandate of the people.
"Constitution amendment will not only address the demand of Madhes but also resolve the current political deadlock in the country," he said.
Yadav also informed that negotiations between Oli and FSFN Chairman Yadav are continuing to address the demands of Madhes and their participation in the new government.
"We are committed to our agenda. There is no question of joining the government keeping aside our agenda," he further said.
Chairperson of Madhes Province Committee Renu Yadav said they are determined to establish their agenda through a constitutional amendment. "Our priority is to ensure broadest possible acceptance of the constitution. We will reach to a decision on our future strategy after holding a meeting," she said.
Meanwhile, RJPN has called its central committee meeting in Kathmandu for Monday to forge the party's strategy in the coming days. The meeting is expected to focus on reviewing the performance in the election, the equation in the formation of the central government and the provincial government. According to leaders, the meeting may extend over five days as it is also expected to discuss other concurrent political issues including ordinance on the formation of National Assembly.
Sources said FSFN Chairman Yadav will lead Madhesi parties in the Oli cabinet if he is able to convince Oli for constitution amendment. In that case, RJPN will get the opportunity to head the provincial government in Province 2. Madhesi leaders have positively responded to the call of UML Chairman Oli for negotiation, realizing that UML's support is a must to bring any amendments to the constitution.