Rajbiraj, February 27
Madhes-based parties in Saptari have ruled out chances of local polls across the region, citing the prevailing confusion surrounding federalism-related issues and power sharing modality between federal and central governments.
Leaders of the constituents of United Democratic Madhesi Front made these remarks today at an interaction ‘Present Scenario and Madhes-based Agitation’ in Rajbiraj.
“In fact, the ruling elites are still unwilling to grant the Madhes its rights and the government’s recent decision to declare the date of local polls unilaterally is a part of this penchant to keep the Madhes always under their thumb,” reasoned Sadbhawana Party senior national Vice Chairperson Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav.
Further, he doubted the rationale behind holding the elections, saying, “Elections are for peace and political stability, but at a time when many issues related to federalism and sharing of powers between the central and the provincial governments are yet to be settled, making a headlong rush into elections will only make things worse.”
The former minister also expressed his dissatisfaction at the unjustifiable low number of local bodies proposed for the plains.
“The Madhes accounts for more than 51 per cent of the total population of the country but if we look at the number of local bodies proposed here, they make up only 34 per cent of the total local bodies proposed for the country. What’s this other than gross injustice?” he asked.
“An election held amid this reality won’t ensure fair representation of the Madhes in various state mechanisms, including the national assembly. Hence there is no question of allowing the polls to happen here until the Madhes is granted representation and budget in proportion to its population,” he argued.
Various other leaders who spoke on the occasion also pointed that local elections were unlikely in the present status quo.
A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.