Madhes allies likely to share top posts 50:50

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jan 16, 2018-

The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal has proposed a 50:50 power-sharing and candidacy allocation arrangement with ally the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal for forming the government in Province 2 and for the National Assembly elections, respectively. The two parties had contested the federal parliament and provincial assembly elections by forming an alliance.

The RJP-N has 17 (11 first-past-the-post and 6 proportional representation) members in the House of Representatives while the SSF-N holds 16 (10 FPTP and 6PR) seats. In the provincial assembly, the SSF-N has 29 (20 FPTP and 9PR) seats while RJP-N has 25 (15 FPTP and 10PR).

“It’s obvious that the two parties will share the seats on a 50:50 ratio,” said RJP-N coordinator Mahantha Thakur, arguing that there was not much difference in the votes the two parties garnered.

The two parties, however, have not reached an agreement on the agendas while individual leaders express divergent views.

Thakur claimed that the two parties have not decided which party fields the chief minister candidate but most SSF-N leaders stake their claim to the post citing their strength in the province. The two parties have 54 seats on the provincial assembly in total, which barely makes a majority in the 107-strong assembly.

“It’s obvious for the largest party in the provincial assembly to claim the chief minister’s post,” said Ratneswor Lal Kayastha, the SSF-N spokesperson, adding, however, that the two parties would finalise the deal in close coordination.

RJP-N Vice-chairman Ram Babu Sah and General Secretary duo Manish Suman and Jitendra Sonal are vying for the top positions in provincial government and assembly.

On fielding common candidates in the National Assembly (NA), an SSF-N co-chairman claimed that the two parties would have three candidates each as they are in a position to win six seats.

With the NA polls approaching, party leaders have started lobbying with their leadership for the candidacy. One such candidate is Uma Kanta Jha, the father-in-law of RJP-N coordinator Thakur’s daughter.

Though Jha’s name has surfaced as a province chief candidate, he is also a likely NA candidate. “We have recommended a few names for the chief of Province 2,” said coordinator Thakur, admitting that Jha was one of them. Other aspirants include Brikhesh Chandra Lal, Sarbendra Nath Shukla, Rambha Mishra, Nilam Verma, Rajiv Jha and Ashok Yadav. The SSF-N, however, has yet to start discussion for NA poll candidate selection.

The poll authority has asked the RJP-N twice to amend the list of candidates it submitted for PR seats in Province 2. The EC has invited RJP-N leaders on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

“We’ll submit a revised list a day or two after discussion with the election officials,” Thakur said.

RJP-Nepal orientation on NA polls

KATHMANDU: The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal is preparing to train its voters—chiefs and deputy chiefs of the local federal units and provincial assembly members, along with the candidates, in Janakpur shortly. According to coordinator Mahantha Thakur, the session would focus on the single transferable voting system to be adopted for the Upper House poll.

The RJP-N office bearers would meet after the training to discuss the pressing issues. (PR)

Published: 16-01-2018 08:01

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