Kathmandu, October 11
The Federal Democratic Alliance suffered a vertical split today with Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic deciding to support UML Chair KP Sharma Oli’s candidacy for premiership, while two other constituents of the alliance – the MJF-R and the National Madhes Socialist Party — chose to support Sushil Koirala.
Gachhadar decided to support Oli’s bid for premiership after he reached an eight- point deal with Oli and Unified CPN-Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
The eight-point deal commits to ensure without ambiguity the proportional inclusion of all sections as stated in the Interim Constitution and to amend the constitution on the basis of political understanding to resolve the issue of provincial boundaries by treating the issues raised by protesting Madhesi and Tharu forces and people of mountain and hill districts as political issues.
The agreement also commits to delineate election constituencies mainly on the basis of population, but without depriving any district of at least one constituency; provide compensation to those who lost their loved ones during the protests; ensuring free medical treatment to the injured, and providing compensation to those who lost their property and business during the protests.
The three-party agreement also commits to release people detained during protests and to withdraw false charges against political cadres and leaders. They also committed to restore normalcy in the country and appealed to protesting Madhesi, Tharu and Janajati forces to resolve their differences through dialogue.
UML Chair Oli, UCPN-M Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and MJF-D Chair Gachhadar signed the eight-point agreement.
Meanwhile, MJF-R Chair Rajkishor Yadav said none of the two candidates for premiership were the choice of the Madhesi and Janajati forces, but since they could not boycott the poll or abstain from it, his party decided to back Koirala.
“The new alliance is a revival of Maale, Mashaale and Mandale nationalism. Such ultra-left and ultra-right alliance and ultra-nationalism is harmful for Madhes,” he said, adding that Gachhadar had supported the alliance just for the sake of ministerial berth.
He said Gachhadar had first proposed in their meeting on Friday to joining the Oli-led government, but they rejected it outright.
The United Democratic Madhesi Front also voted in favour of Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala’s bid to become the new prime minister ‘to oppose the formation of ultra-left alliance which is fascist in character.’
A meeting of the UDMF had decided in the morning today to vote against the ultra-left alliance with fascist character, ‘which was against democracy and the interests of Madhesis, Tharus, Muslims, Dalits and indigenous nationalities,’ stated a press release issued by the front today.
A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.