MJF-Democratic divided on when to join government

Kathmandu, September 7

Differences have surfaced between Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic lawmaker Jitendra Dev and the party leadership over whether or not the party should join the government immediately.

Dev told THT that the party should not wait for the government to offer it plum ministries with the status of one Deputy Prime Minister for the party representative. “If we can join the government soon, our party can play a role in helping resolve the major political issues, if not, the party cannot play any role in national politics,” Dev said.

Dev said his party should join the government to play its political role in the government or else it would lose its relevance in politics.

MJF-D Chair Bijay Kumar Gachhadar however, dismissed reports of division within the party.

Talking to a group of journalists, Gachhadar said he read reports of Dev’s dissatisfaction with him over the issue of whether the party should join the government soon or wait for sometime. Gachhadar said he would soon call a meeting of party’s Central Working Committee and Parliamentary Party to discuss Dev’s dissatisfaction. “If the media reports are true, he has given me an ultimatum of three days to take a call on sending party representatives to the government. His statements in media have created doubts in the minds of the party’s rank and file,” he said, and added that Dev had no reason to be unhappy with him.

“Our party has extended support to this government and has decided that we will join the government. The day we join the government we will do so unitedly,” he added.

Gachhadar also said that the party would not join the government if it was offered low profile ministries because then the party would not be able to deliver and meet people’s expectations. He said he took personal decision to make Dev a lawmaker of the party under proportional representation election system and he expected responsible comments from him.

Gachhadar said his party had formally decided to back this government and seek respectable participation in the government and he had been talking to the prime minister about the same. “I want to wait for some time. The PM has assured me that he will discuss induction of our party and other Madhesi parties in the government after he returns from India,” Gachhadar added.

He said the party would join the government by creating favourable environment for the same and hence a controversy over the party’s participation in the government was uncalled for. “We can think of joining the government only when we know which ministries are being offered to us,” he added.

Gachhadar said if he could not lead his party in the government, then he would send other party lawmakers to the government. He also clarified that he sought respectable participation of the party in the government and not a respectable position for himself.