SLMM not to join govt unless its 26-point demand is met

  • It, however, has agreed to extend ‘tactical support’ to the new alliance
- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu

Jul 15, 2016-

Though the Madhes-based parties have agreed to support the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress to form a new government, they have ruled out the possibility of joining it. 

They have said the new Maoist-NC alliance should express commitment to address their 26-point demand first.

Seven Madhes-based parties, which are under the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), have 39 seats in Parliament, and the Maoist-NC alliance will need their support to form the government. 

On Wednesday, the Madhes-based parties had agreed to support the Maoist-NC coalition “to topple the KP Sharma Oli government and form a new one”. 

They agreed to extend their support to the new alliance after NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who as of now looks set to succeed Oli as the prime minister, made a joint commitment to address their demands. 

But Rajendra Mahato, chairman of the Sadbhawana Party, one of the constituents of the SLMM, said there were still doubts about the sincerity of the Maoist Centre and the NC. 

“Girija [Prasad Koirala) had also made such commitments in the past; why didn’t he fulfil them?” questioned Mahato.

He said the SLMM decided to extend support to the new alliance for “tactical reason”.

“We have long been saying that the sooner this [Oli] government goes, the better it is, as it has always been reluctant to accommodate the Morcha’s views,” said Mahato. “The NC and Maoist Centre seem to be more flexible about seeking a solution at a political level though.”

Both Deuba and Dahal have repeatedly stressed the need to carve out at least one more province in the Tarai, which is Morcha’s one of the demands, but they have always fallen short of forwarding any concrete proposal to this effect. 

Deuba is one of the strong proponents of “united far west”, which contradicts the Morcha’s demand of two provinces in the Tarai. 

Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav on Wednesday said that the Sanghiya Gathabandhan, a joint alliance of Madhesi and Janajati parties, could consider joining the government “once the dust settles”. 

He had hinted that the parties in the Sanghiya Gathabandhan could join the government if they were given credible assurance that their demands would be addressed. 

A large section of Madhesi leaders, however, has stood in favour of joining the new government in view of the nearing local, provincial and federal elections.

As per a deal between the Maoist Centre and the NC, local elections will be held under the government of the Maoist leadership while provincial and federal elections will be held by an NC-led government. 

Published: 15-07-2016 10:23

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