Kathmandu, January 29
As Nepali Congress’ 13th General Convention nears, party leaders representing Madhes remain concerned about potential disturbances the agitating Untied Democratic Madhesi Front cadres could create for them.
Amid threats of disruption by the local leaders of UDMF in eight districts of Tarai from Saptari to Parsa, the NC held its gatherings at village, town and ward levels today.
The party however, faced obstruction at some places from the agitating Madhesi cadres.
NC leaders Bimalendra Nidhi and Anand Prasad Dhungana today met Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chair Mahantha Thakur and told him to tell the UDMF cadres not to disrupt NC’s programmes in the run up to its General Convention scheduled for March 3-6.
Nidhi said in a democracy programmes of political parties, particularly their conventions, should not be targeted by the rival forces.
“The UDMF has not done anything against our gatherings but we have received report of disturbances in Siraha, Dhanusha and some other districts from local UDMF cadres,” Nidhi said.
Only yesterday local cadres sloganeered around the house of NC leader Dr Chandra Mohan Yadav in Dhanusha. Nidhi said Thakur agreed with him that no one should obstruct programmes of rival political parties.
Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chairperson Upendra Yadav said the UDMF had no plan to disrupt NC’s General Convention but the front could do nothing if people, who are angry at the NC for its role in the constitution-making process and the process of passing the two constitutional amendments that the Madhesis view discriminatory against them, attempted to disrupt NC gatherings.
Spokesperson for the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Sarvendranath Shukla said the UDMF had not issued any directive from the centre to disrupt any activities of the political parties but the district committees of the front in eight districts from Saptari to Parsa had banned the entry of the lawmakers who had signed the promulgation of the new constitution.
Shukla said the UDMF had informally instructed its district chapters to allow the lawmakers to take part in their political programmes on the scheduled days and time.
“We are not against democratic exercise of political rights of any political party, but the local chapters of the UDMF decided to ban the entry of the lawmakers who signed the promulgation of the constitution mainly to avoid confrontation.
We do not want any confrontation between political parties as happened in Rangeli,” Shukla said.
He said the local committees of the UDMF might continue restricting the entry of other parties’ lawmakers till they correct the mistakes committed during and after the promulgation of the constitution.
Nepali Congress cadres had joined the UDMF protest in Dhanusha and Parsa under the parties’ banner but the agitating Madhesi parties barred them from carrying party flags.
They told the NC cadres that if they wanted to join the protest, they could carry black flags but not their party flags.
Shukla said he advised the NC leaders to carry out their regional and district level gatherings around the East-West Highway so as to avoid confrontation with the agitating forces.
The NC will hold its regional level gatherings on February 5 and district-level gatherings on February 8.
A version of this article appears in print on January 30, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.