RAM KUMAR KAMAT
KATHMANDU: The dissolution of Constituent Assembly has had a cascading effect not only in major political parties but also in the newly formed Broader Madhesi Front (BMF). The front, which was created by erstwhile Madhesi CA members a few weeks ago to create pressure in favour of genuine federalism, is now divided into two factions—one supporting Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s decision to hold fresh CA elections and the other opposing it.
A day after Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal (MJF-N) Chairman Upendra Yadav and some other leaders including MJF-Democratic leader Sharat Singh Bhandari and Mahendra Paswan of UCPN-Maoist issued a joint press release on behalf of the BMF demanding the prime minister’s resignation, some other leaders of the front organised a press conference on Tuesday to warn Yadav of disciplinary action.
They, however, denied to confirm that the front was on the verge of split.
Former Maoist CA member and one of the champions of BMF Prabhu Saha, who is close to the PM, said the front would soon seek clarification from Yadav and Bhandari for going along with the anti-federalism forces to the President to protest the PM’s decision on the night of May 27, when the CA was dissolved and the PM announced the date for fresh elections.
Saha said disciplinary actions would be taken against Yadav and Bhandari if they were found violating the front’s code of conduct.
Maoist leader Saha said it was primarily their idea that led to the formation of the BMF in order to safeguard rights of Madhesis in the new constitution and secure genuine federalism.
He, however, clarified that the front would expand but not split until it achieved its objectives.
Today’s press conference was attended also by Ram Rijhan Yadav, Bharat Saha of the UCPN-M, Atmaram Sah of MJF-R and Ramshish Gupta of Terai Madhes Democratic Party-Nepal.
Ram Rijhan Yadav who is also the Press Advisor to the PM accused Yadav and Bhandari of collaborating with ‘anti-federalism forces-- the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Rastriya Janashakti Party--against the values and principles of the front.
Another Maoist leader Ram Kumar Sharma flayed Yadav for ‘colluding with the NC and UML who were hell-bent on diluting federalism and dividing Madhesi in five pradeshes.’ These leaders also criticised Yadav for unilaterally withdrawing protest programmes from yesterday.
Upendra Yadav defends
Yadav, on the other hand, claimed that he had met the President the other day as Chairman of MJF-Nepal and not as a leader of the front. “My party is free to take position on political issues without needing to consult front leaders,” Yadav told THT Online, adding that the BMF leaders close to the PM were spreading rumour against him.
“Our party has opposed the PM’s unilateral action of holding fresh CA elections. We have not collaborated with the NC and UML or any other party. All big three parties –the UCPN-M, NC and UML are anti-federalism,” he reacted.
He claimed that a valid meeting of Mass Mobilisation Committee of the front convened yesterday had taken decision to oppose the PM’s move and demand immediate formation of a national unity government.