Madhesi parties preparing for polls, RJPN still undecided

Published On: May 30, 2017 12:50 AM NPT By: CHHATRA KARKI/AJIT TIWARI

BIRATNAGAR, May 30: With just 26 days to go before the second round of local elections, two key Madhes-based parties - Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) led by Upendra Yadav and Nepal Democratic Forum (NDF) led by Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar - have intensified their preparations for the polls while the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), which was formed after a merger of six Madhesi parties a little more than a month ago, is still undecided.

These days Raj Kumar Yadav, Morang chief of FSFN, is busy planning for the elections.

Maheswor Yadav, treasurer of the party, is working day and night to arrange funds for the elections while other leaders and cadres are holding discussions on whom to elect.

According to Raj Kumar, the party has fielded its candidates for almost 70 percent of the local units. “In many parts, our candidates have even started visiting the locals and are holding their political campaigns,” he said.
FSFN which participated in the first round of local elections held in provinces 3, 4 and 6, said it will be participating in the second round as well but with new strategies. 

Similarly, NDF and the major political parties like Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) are also busy preparing for the elections and holding discussions to select candidates.

After the promulgation of the new constitution, many Madhes-based parties hit the streets in protest of the constitution. They even threatened to boycott and disrupt the elections.  However, NDF and FSFN took part in the elections. 

The RJPN which did not participate in the first round of polls is undecided about the second round as well.

According to Mahammad Kadir, district co-coordinator of RJPN, the party won't take part in the elections till the constitution is amended. “As of now, there is no possibility of preparing for the election,” Kadir said.

FSFN and NDF have planned to form pre-election alliances with each other and also with NC and Maoists in various local units for the second round of polls but they are extremely against the CPN-UML accusing it of being anti-Madhesi. As stated by the cadres and leaders of FSFN, the major reason behind taking part in the elections was to safeguard the achievements of Madhes Movement and the mass movement of 2006.

Bhaktinath Majhi, district chairperson of NDF, said that the party has finalized the candidates in almost all the local units. He claimed that his party is sure to win in the sub-metropolitan city, municipalities and rural municipalities of Morang.

“Locals in Morang are eagerly waiting for taking part in the elections which are taking place almost after two decades,” said Kadir, adding, “But they are very disappointed with the government for not addressing their demands.” He also accused the party of Upendra Yadav of betraying the Madhesi people.   

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