'Polls on May 14 in single phase even if UDMF stays away'

KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa has said the government reached a conclusion that the local level elections will be held in the single phase on May 14 even if the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front boycotts it.

Speaking with journalists in Kathmandu today, Thapa said the Constitution amendment bill recently filed at the Parliament was an attempt to convince the Front for the polls and the agitators should have accepted it.

The UDMF has already announced to boycott the polls unless their demands would be met, claiming the amendments proposed were insufficient to address their demands.

Thapa maintained that the government would continue efforts to convince the UDMF till the last minute and the door to talks would always remain open.

"The efforts for the agreement will continue till the last moment," he said, "But, we will not postpone the polls under any circumstance even if they will not come.

A meeting of the top leaders of ruling parties held this morning has already made the decision for the same, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman claimed that the government had received consent from the UDMF for the bill.

"The Front's decision to reject the bill is unexpected and sudden," he claimed, adding the bill was prepared after rounds of talks with the agitators.

He hence urged the UDMF to rethink the decision.

"I have been holding talks with them," he said, "I hope they will join the negotiation table and find an agreement."