Parties wooing Madhesi voters

Kathmandu, August 30 

Senior leaders of major political parties — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre — are in the Madhes. They have deployed senior leaders

as well as leaders who wield influence among the Madhesi people, targeting the third phase of local level elections slated for September 18.

The NC claims it has local leaders for the election campaign in Province 2. “We have been doing our best to win majority seats in the local levels of Province 2,” said NC Office Secretary Krishna Poudel. He said the NC had opened the party’s media centre in all eight districts of Province 2, and it was organising door-to-door campaign and other poll related activities.

He said the NC would mobilise central leaders in Province 2 after the names of candidates were finalised. “We are in the final stage of finalising the names of candidates,” said Poudel, adding that the party would most probably finalise candidates tomorrow. He said his party would emerge the first party by winning majority of local levels in the third phase of elections.

The CPN-UML has deployed former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Vice-chairman Bam Dev Gautam, and Deputy General Secretary Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Secretaries Gokarna Bista and Yogesh Bhattarai and other leaders in the election campaign in Province 2. “We have been organising rallies, door-to-door campaigns, and training and gathering the party’s leading cadres,” said UML Secretary Yogesh Bhatatrai, who recently returned from the Madhes.  He said that the UML has also formed an election mobilisation committee in all 136 local levels of the eight districts of Province 2.

Secretary Bhattarai said the wave was in favour of the UML,due to the party’s agenda on nationality, national unity, and its vision of social development. He added that the party would keep its number one position intact by winning majority of local level seats in the third phase of elections. He said his party was in the final phase of finalising candidates for the third phase of elections. Likewise, the CPN-MC said it had mobilised its entire party secretariat, including the party Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Province 2 for the civic polls. Dahal has been going out for morning walk, meeting people, sipping tea with them and understanding their problems during his interactions.

“Our chairman has also been welcoming hundreds of leaders and party workers from other parties,” said CPN-MC leader Matrika Yadav. He said there was a wave in favour of his party and the party’s position would be better.

CPN-MC Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said the party would give tickets to those who have public support, are popular and have contributed to the party. She said the party would give first priority to candidates, who have chances of winning elections. “We will not discriminate against leaders who have entered recently from other parties,” said Bhusal.

Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal’ General Secretary Manish Suman said his party’s presidium members in Kathmandu and working to finalise names of candidates. “Most probably they will finalise names by Saturday. Then the presidium members will be deployed for election campaign,” said Suman. He said the RJP-N had deployed prominent leaders in poll campaigns in all eight districts.

He claimed that the RJP-N would sweep Province 2 as it was its stronghold and the party had struggled a lot to establish Madhes issues. He said that the RJP-N would welcome alliances with other Madhes based parties — Federal socialist Forum, Nepal Democratic Forum — if they were made by the local committees.