Print Edition - 2017-09-22 | News
RJP-N, SSF-N putting up good showing
- Province 2 local elections
- Congress maintains lead, Maoist Centre following
Sep 22, 2017-
Two Madhes-based parties—the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal (SSF-N) and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N)—have performed well in Province 2 if the current trend is anything to go by.
The RJP-N was leading in 15 local units, just behind the Nepali Congress (leading in 30 local units), as of 10:30pm on Thursday while the SSF-N was leading in 11 local units.
Observers say if the SSF-N continues to maintain the current trend, it would mean its Chairman Upendra Yadav’s comeback in the frontline of Madhes politics.
Yadav’s then party Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal had failed to win a single seat from the constituencies which are now in Province 2 during the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections.
Analyst Tula Narayan Shah said Yadav’s legacy of 2007-08 “still seems to be alive” in the region. “Secondly, he has been in the past many months very clear about participating in the local level elections,” Shah said. “His party [SSF-N] received huge support from the Yadav population when he launched his poll campaigns months ago,” added Shah. “On top of that, the SSF-N had an advantage over the RJP-N, as the latter hemmed and hawed for long before deciding to join the polls.”
The Yadavs account for 10 percent of the Madhes population and is the largest caste group in the Tarai region.
The RJP-N, which was adamant about not participating in the elections without constitution amendment, started its poll campaigns only after August 21 when the constitution amendment bill failed in Parliament.
According to the observers, the RJP-N could have done much better though.
“Our politics has failed to rise above caste mindset,” said RJP-N General Secretary Keshav Jha. “Our party also lacked organisational base at the grassroots level.
The RJP-N was formed in the third week of April through the unification of six Madhes-based parties. But the party failed to emerge as an “organically unified” force, as the merger decision was taken with the main goal of piling pressure get the charter amended.
As far as the UML is concerned, in core areas, where the Madhesi population is dominant, its performance is unlikely to improve, say the observers, adding that the CPN (Maoist Centre) is rather likely to maintain its constituencies. If the current trend continues, the UML may lose some of its constituencies in the Madhes.
For the Congress party, which has traditionally enjoyed good support in the Madhes, chances of it emerging as the largest force in Province 2 are high, said the observers.
Party Win Lead
NC 11 30
UML 5 13
Maoist Centre 5 18
SSF-N 4 11
RJP-N 7 15
NLF 2 1
Others 0 10
Published: 22-09-2017 07:46