Chances of Cong alliance with SSF-N, RJP-N slim

  • The parties likely to work to ensure victory for their ‘top leaders’
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 28, 2017-Chances of a larger electoral alliance between the Nepali Congress (NC) and Madhes-based parties in Province 2 have become slim, however, discussions are underway for forging an agreement to support “top leaders” of both sides, leaders involved in discussions said on Friday. 

Despite several rounds of talks between the NC and two Madhes-based parties--Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal (SSF-N)--leaders have failed to reach an understating on forging an alliance. Nominations for the second phase of provincial and federal elections to be held on December 7 have to be filed on November 2. 

Out of 32 federal constituencies in Province 2, the RJP-N and SSF-N have jointly claimed 20 seats, if they were to join hands with the Congress party. But the NC says that is an unrealistic demand. 

In the local level elections in the province, the SSF-N and RJP-N jointly won 51 seats, 11 more than the Congress party. 

A Congress leader told the Post requesting anonymity that Madhesi leaders were demanding more seats than their strength in Province 2. Initially, the two Madhes-based parties had demanded 24 seats. But later they said they were ready to form an alliance with the Congress party if they are given 20 seats. RJP-N General Secretary Keshav Jha said the NC offered only 14 constituencies for the two Madhes-based parties, which have already announced their electoral alliance. 

“Our bottom line is 20 seats. There cannot be any agreement on 14 seats,” Jha said.

According to Jha, if the NC and the two Madhes-based parties failed to forge an alliance in Province 2, they will resort to finding consensus candidates among the top leaders for each other. 

“Discussions are underway for an electoral alliance with the two parties, but chances of friendly competition are high,” said NC leader Bal Krishna Khand who is in-charge NC’s Election Publicity Committee. “We will support top leaders of the Madhes-based parties and they will support our top leaders under the first-past-the-post system,” said Khand. Both sides, however, are yet to specify who all fall into the “top leaders” category. 

The NC is in a bid to form what it calls a “broader democratic alliance” to counter a left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre). It, however, is sharing some seats with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Prajatantrik) led by Pashupati Shumsher Rana and Naya Shakti Party Nepal led by Baburam Bhattarai. 

The party is likely to share some seats with the Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party. 

Published: 28-10-2017 07:53

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