'Madhes stir losing steam'

Rajbiraj, October 18

The Madhes agitation has lost steam due to shortsightedness of the leaders of Madhes-based parties, say Madhes experts.

Khusilal Mandal, a Madhesi leader and also a contemporary of late Gajendra Narayan Singh, who spearheaded the movement for a separate Madhes state, said shortsightedness of the Madhesi leaders made the Madhes movement lose steam.

“Shortsightedness of Madhesi leaders and their hunger for power has debilitated the movement,” Mandal said. “The agitation was reaching its height this time around. However, the Madhesi parties’ participation in the prime ministerial election dealt a severe blow to the agitation,” Mandal said.

Similarly, Tarai Madhes National Campaign’s Coordinator Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta said though more than 40 people were killed in the course of agitation, Madhes-based parties were trying to ditch the agendas of the Madhes movement for power. “Now, we need a new political force to guarantee the rights of Madhesi people,” he said.

Madhes analyst Tul Narayan Sah said,”It was a historical mistake on the part of Madhesi parties to participate in the prime ministerial election when the agitation was at its height,” Sah said. He said Madhesi leaders had betrayed the Madhesi people.

United Democratic Madheshi Front’s cadres have vented ire at the leadership for participating in the PM election. Federal Socialist Forum Nepal’s Saptari district member Prabhananda Mandal quit his party, while Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum Democratic senior activist Shankar Khidhari quit the party along with more than six dozen activists.

Issuing a press statement, Saptari Chairman of Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum (Democratic), Satya Narayan Yadav, took strong exception to Bijay Kumar Gachhadar’s decision to join the government.

Locals said many places, including Kanchanpur, Kalyanpur, Kathauna, Bhardaha, Hanumannagar and Rajbiraj, where hundreds of thousands of people participated in rallies, hardly saw any rally or demonstration these days.

Federal Socialist Forum Nepal central member Sailendra Sah admitted that Madhes-based parties’ participation in PM election had sent a wrong message to the people.