Coalition partners fail to convince Morcha to take part in local polls

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav reiterates the Morcha’s bottom line of endorsing the amendment bill before polls

Mar 17, 2017- The agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has refused the request of the governing parties--CPN (Maoist Centre), Nepali Congress and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party--to join the local polls even as the coalition expressed its readiness to sort the row over provincial boundaries before holding the state elections.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had invited the Morcha leaders to his office 
in Singha Durbar for a meeting, along with newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Kamal Thapa and NC leaders including President Sher Bahadur Deuba.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal re-iterated his position that their concerns over the state boundaries would be addressed through a commission before the provincial elections.
Dahal and Thapa had presented the proposal to Morcha leaders on Wednesday as well. The leaders of the Madhes-based parties had responded that they did not find the proposal trustworthy.
According to Keshav Jha, general secretary of the Tarai Madhes Samajbadi Party, 
the coalition said it was ready to increase the number of local units on the basis of population and to strip the local level chiefs and deputies of their voting rights during the Upper House election.
Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav told the ruling coalition that their bottom line was endorsement of the constitution amendment bill. Yadav also argued that the local level must be under the jurisdiction of provinces as per the spirit of federalism.
Morcha leaders including Sharat Singh Bhandari were of the view that the complex provision for increasing the number of provinces should be eased.
Deputy Prime Minister Thapa had urged the Morcha leaders to find a middle path for participation in the local polls scheduled for May 14.
NC President Deuba said they were looking for alternatives as there was no possibility of endorsing the amendment proposal in the existing power equation.
NC leaders Ram Chandra Poudel, Prakash Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Maoist Centre leader Matrika Yadav and Morcha leaders Mahantha Thakur, Mahendra Raya Yadav and Anil Jha participated in the discussion.

Published: 17-03-2017 08:50

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