Madhesi parties to boycott all polls unless all demands met

KATHMANDU: The United Democratic Madhesi Front comprising major Madhesi parties on Wednesday decided to boycott all the polls including the May 14 local level elections unless their demands were met.

A meeting of the alliance held today made the decision to this effect, according to Keshav Jha, General Secretary of the National Madhes Socialist Party.

The meeting decided that the protests would continue unless the demands were met and the Front could not take part in the polls to be held during the protests, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

The meeting was called to discuss the Constitution amendment bill that the government registered at the Parliament Secretariat yesterday. Upon discussion, the meeting concluded that the bill was not sufficient to address their demands.

"As major issues including the delineation (of provincial boundaries) will not be addressed by the Constitution amendment proposal brought by the government, going against various understandings and agreements held with the Front," the press statement issued by the bloc after the meeting read, "The Front rejects the bill."

Meanwhile, the meeting also decided to hold torch rallies in headquarters of the Tarai region on Thursday, with the demand to address their concerns.

Likewise, the parties would picket election offices in the districts on Sunday in a symbolic protest of the elections scheduled for May 14.

Top leaders of the constituent parties were present at the meeting presided over by Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur at the party's central office in Bijulibazaar of Kathmandu.

Federal Alliance follows suit

Meanwhile, the Federal Alliance, another bloc of parties demanding the Constitution amendment, also made similar decisions, claiming the amendments proposed were not enough to address their concerns and they ignored previous agreements.

Likewise, the Alliance would boycott the local level elections, according to a statement issued by the Alliance Coordinator and Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav.