Nepal | May 25, 2020

NDF’s merger with NC postponed at the last minute

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, October 15

The Bijay Kumar Gachhadar-led Nepal Democratic Forum’s merger with the Nepali Congress was postponed at the last moment today.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Senior Media Expert Govinda Pariyar had invited media persons at 5:30pm to cover the merger declaration, but they were kept waiting till 8:30pm as negotiations between NDF and NC leaders went on for hours. At around 8:00pm Gachhadar told THT the merger declaration was being drafted. Half-an-hour later, leaders from both sides told media persons the merger would be declared tomorrow.

Former NDF lawmaker Yogendra Chaudhari said the NC leaders initially offered the post of party general secretary to NDF Chair Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, but he demanded the party’s vice presidency and eventually NC leaders agreed to offer him the post of vice-president.

Gachhadar also demanded that NC leaders commit how many First-Past-the-Post parliamentary constituencies they would allocate to leaders associated with his party.

“The NC leaders told us that since we were merging with the NC, we should not worry about the FPTP constituencies. NC leaders told us that they would take a decision on FPTP constituencies on the basis of consensus with us,” Chaudhari said.

He said NC leaders were very busy selecting the names of their proportional representation candidates, which led to the postponement of NDF’s merger with the NC today.

Gachhadar, who began his political career from the Nepali Congress during the Panchayat regime had joined the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal in 2008, a few days before the first Constituent Assembly elections.

He later split from the MJF-N and formed his own party — Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic which was renamed Nepal Democratic Forum after some fringe
Janajati parties merged
with the MJF-D.

NDF has won seven local levels in the recently concluded local elections.

Gachhadar has won all parliamentary elections from his home constituency Sunsari since 1991.

In the second CA elections held in 2013, Gachhadar had contested from two constituencies —  Morang-7 and Sunsari-3, but he won only the Sunsari-3 Constituency.

A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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