Gathabandhan shares plan to foil local polls

  • Local vote should be held after federal and provincial elections: Yadav
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 17, 2017-

Five days after the government registered a new constitution amendment proposal in a bid to address the demands of the agitating Madhes-based parties, the Sanghiya Gathabandhan has announced protests aimed at foiling the May 14 local elections.

Organising a press meet in the Capital on Sunday, the Gathabandhan—an alliance of ethnic and Madhesi forces—announced an indefinite general strike beginning May 10 to obstruct the polls.

Gathabandhan coordinator and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav claimed that the government had not consulted with them about the fresh amendment proposal.

Addressing  an establishment day function of the Nepal Sadbhawana Party, Yadav said the government had shown them one proposal, discussed another draft and registered a third copy.

However, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, according to sources, told a meeting of the CPN (Maoist Centre) that leaders of the Gathabandhan had tricked him, which would ultimately harm themselves.

Yadav claimed that the new amendment proposal does not bring the local federal units under the provinces. Even if the government endorsed the proposal, the Centre would be unable to hold local polls, he warned. “The provinces will hold the local level polls only after the provincial elections. Have you seen the central government holding the local polls in India?” Yadav asked.

Gathabandhan Spokesman Om Gurung said the proposal does not have a multi-lingual policy. His other concerns were discriminatory structure of the National Assembly; a federal commission not powerful enough to change the provincial boundaries; withdrawing the proposal to redraw the provincial boundaries and the absence of autonomous, special and reserved areas. The protests include torch rallies in the district headquarters on Tuesday, lathi and whistle rallies on Thursday; and mass meetings in Janakpur, Udaypur, Birgunj and Kavre on Saturday.

On April 23 mass meetings would be held in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Palpa; on April 24 in Nepalgunj, Birtamod and Kathmandu; on April 25 in Dhangadhi, Dharan and Pokhara; and rallies with lathi at different places including the polling centres on April 26. They also announced shutdowns on April 28 in the Tarai, Tharuhat and the East and a nationwide banda on April 29. The indefinite general strike is said to begin on May 10. 

Meanwhile, the Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, picketed the election offices in several Tarai districts on Sunday. Morcha activists demonstrated before the election offices in Dhanusha, Rautahat, Bara, Nawalparasi and Kapilvastu, among other districts. 

The Election Commission on Sunday set up the offices of the chief election officer and the election officer in the districts. Supporters of the regional parties disrupted an election-related programme in Kalaiya, Bara.

Published: 17-04-2017 07:36

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