Nepal Today

Saturday, June 22, 2013

MAOIST AND ALLIES MEET SUNDAY Kathmandu, 23 June: Maoist and their allies that helped to hold together the17-month government of Bahuram Bhattarai before it was finally toppled three amonths ago meets Sunday at the UCPN Maoist head office Sunday. UCPN Maoist is trying to main the appliance and even reinforce it by wooing Madeshi parties especially. Maoists seek a common programme for the assembly vote ad Madeshi parties push their own separate alliance. Moves are preliminary as Maoist Chairman Prachanda wooes Madeshi voters he and his party have a special for the region bordering India. The alliance meets as government has announced second constituent assembly elections 19 November with rivals NC and UML also attempting to get majopirty in the assembly. Three major parties claim they will get an absolute majority in the coming vote. nnnn 33 OPPOSITION PARTIES MEETING ‘CIVIL SOCIETY’ SUNDAY Kathmandu, 23 June: Thirty-three parties ,including CPN Maoist, are holding an interaction with members of ‘’civil society” in the also capital to explain their boycott of the 19 November elections. CPN Maoist is also attempting to solidify its position by drawing support of other parties and fronts of Upendra Yadav’s MJFN and front og Ashok Rai who has formed a front after defecting from UML. nnnn NC PROPOSES THREE PROVINCES Kathmandu, 23 June:IN a move aimed at strengthening its base in Madhes, the Nepali Congress (NC) is drafting party’s new Madhes policy, which is likely to propose three provinces in a new federal set up ahead of November polls, Kama;Dev Bhattarai,Pranab Kharel write in The Kathmandu Post.,. NC’s official position of five provinces in the region with north to south division has drawn strong opposition from the Madhes-based parties. Leaders said the new policy aims at reclaiming its constituencies in Madhes in the upcoming CA election. The issues of deleaniating provinces had distanced the NC and the Madhesi parties.While the Tarai-based parties pitched two autonomous provinces in Madhes in the Constituent Assembly, the NC remained opposed to it calling for five provinces in the plains along the north-south axis. The other agendas of the party’s new Madhes policy include the issue of identity, representation of marginalised communities in the state mechanism and socio-economic transformation. The NC taskforce led by party Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel is drawing an outline of three provinces in Madhes to correspond with the Madhes-based parties’ demand of a maximum two provinces in the region. Some NC Madhesi leaders are reported to be against the proposal, insisting that the party should stick to its current stance of five provinces. “Discussion is underway in the party, there will be consensus inside the party on the three provinces,” Ram Krishna Yadav member of the taskforce told the Post. He, however, declined to give details about the possible names and demarcation for the provinces. Along with its position in Madhes, the NC is preparing to unveil a ‘concrete election strategy’ and policy aimed at making amends for it’s disappointing results in the Madhes in the 2008 election. According to leaders, the party has been drafting the Madhes policy which will be finalised after holding a conference in Madhes soon. Once the policy is endorsed, the NC will formally launch a special election campaign in Madhes. Top leaders and general convention representatives from Madhes expect it to boost the morale of party cadres at the conference. The leaders believe the NC’s aim to become the largest party in the new CA hinges on its performance in Madhes, which is home to fifty percent of the country’s population. “We will soon finalise the venue and date for the conference to endorse the policy which will be instrumental in our election campaign,” said party’s Madhes Department chief Uma Kanta Chaudhary. According to him, the party is analysing the field reports prepared by leaders who had been deployed in Madhes on a month-long election campaign. There are dissatisfaction within the party for failing to address the issue of identity raised by Madhesi people and the party’s concrete policy on federalism. “The first challenge for us is to prepare a concrete plan that can address the identity issue raised by the Madhesi people and the second is to mobilise the youth in the Madhes,” said NC leader Ramesh Rijal, who represents Madhes. Besides the policy on federalism, the party is preparing broader social and economic packages to address the aspiration of the Madhesi people and win their trust. The party’s new policy will ensure reservation for the oppressed, marginalised, Janajati, Dalit, Tharu and Muslim communities in the state mechanism, claimed the leaders. NC Madhesi leaders also blamed the leadership’s discriminatory selection of candidates in the Madhes as a factor for the party’s disappointing result in the last CA election. Madhes was a traditional stronghold of the NC. Following the 2007 Madhes uprising, new political actors emerged in the region. These included the likes of Mahanta Thakur, Bijaya Gachhadar and Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, who were previously associated with the NC. Meanwhile, the NC has reached out to some ‘like minded’ Madhes-centric parties an electoral alliance. Those approached include the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) led by Mahanta Thakur, the Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party and Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, coordinator of the Tarai Madhes National Campaign. The Madhesi leaders, however, said the NC leaders have not brought any concrete proposal. “They talk at the sentimental level saying that Madhes is a common thread between them and us,” said TMLP leader Hridayesh Tripathi. “ Nepali Congress leaders have approached us for an alliance. But nothing concrete has transpired,” said a Sadbhawana leader requesting anonymity. But the leader said the formation of such an alliance would depend on NC’s position regarding Madhes. NC Madhes Department chief Chaudhary said talks were on with the parties. “We are in talks with some Madhes-centric parties that can be considered as democratic forces. Details of the negotiations will surface in a couple of days,” said Chaudhary. Interlocutor privy to the developments said the alliance idea was floated to secure seats in the Tarai, the NC’s traditional bastion. Alliance could be made for seat-sharing, joint campaigns and broader alliance. nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “It is natural for people to have doubt over the next CA polls due to activities of four major political forces and the interim election government. But the election will be will be held at any cost,” (Chairman Kamal Thapa of RPP-Nepal in The Himalayan Times, 23 June) nnnn


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