Parties prioritise inclusion in manifestos

Major parties have promised to strictly implement provisions in the statute

Kathmandu, November 11

If the election manifestos of the major parties are anything to go by, ensuring inclusion remains one of their top priorities.

Major parties, including the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre and Madhes-based parties have promised strict implementation of the constitutional provision that ensures proportional representation of women, Dalits, Madhesi, indigenous people, Muslims, Tharus, backward classes, and minorities in all state organs.

In its manifesto for parliamentary and provincial elections slated for November 26 and December 7, the NC says the party is in favour of ‘reservation and positive discrimination’ to ensure that all socially disadvantaged classes and regions are represented in state organs.

It says the party will introduce social policies and programmes aimed at capacity building and boosting access of all the regions, classes, religions, genders, disadvantaged and marginalised communities to the state’s resources, facilities, and opportunities.

It also promises employment opportunities for people belonging to communities such as Badi, freed Kamlaris and Kamaiyas, Chepang, Raute, and Gandharva.

For people with disabilities, the NC has promised special programmes, proportional representation and access to all the state’s facilities and public services. It has also pledged social security facilities on a par with international standard for people with disabilities.

On issues related to women, the party will introduce special schemes related to health, education, financial and social empowerment, as per the manifesto. It promises effective implementation of 33 per cent women’s representation in all state organs.

The NC also plans to immediately activate constitutional commissions such as National Women’s Commission, National Dalit Commission, National Indigenous Nationalities Commission, Madhesi Commission, Tharu Commission, Muslim Commission, and National Inclusion Commission.

The CPN-UML and CPN-MC have also made similar promises in their joint manifesto. As per the document, the two parties have promised effective implementation of rights ensured by the constitution for women. They have promised special priority for women in employment along with 33 per cent representation.

The manifesto promises promotion, modernisation and professionalisation of traditional professions of the Dalit people. It also pledges employment to one woman member of each Dalit family living below the poverty line, and free education and scholarships for Dalit children.

The two parties propose to put in place necessary laws and legal mechanisms to ensure financial, social and cultural development of indigenous nationalities. They have also promised special programmes for conservation of language, culture, tradition, and ancestral skills of indigenous nationalities.

The manifesto also proposes special schemes to alleviate poverty, scarcity and under-development in the Tarai region. It pledges schemes to ensure income generation for Dalits and disadvantaged people in the Tarai, and ‘One House One Woman Employment’ scheme to empower women in the region.

The manifesto has also given priority to remote regions such as Karnali, people with disabilities, Muslims and endangered ethnicities and languages.

Madhes-based parties — Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal — too have expressed commitment to strictly implement the constitutional provision of proportional inclusion.