Kathmandu, April 20
Six constituents of the United Democratic Madhesi Front today formed a unified party — Rastriya Janata Party.
Among the UDMF constituents that untied today are Mahantha Thakur-led Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party, Mahendra Ray Yadav-led Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal, Sharat Singh Bhandari-led National Madhes Socialist Party, Rajkishor Yadav-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Republican and Anil Kumar Jha-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party.
The only constituent of the UDMF that did not become a part of the RJP is Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, which has been trying to unify with Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party-Nepal.
The Rastriya Janata Party has umbrella as its symbol. The party’s rectangular flag has three colours — red on the top, white in the middle and green at the bottom, with umbrella symbol placed in the middle of white part of the flag.
The unified party will be run on the basis of collective leadership with a system of presidium whereby all six chairpersons of the UDMF constituents rotate the party presidency.
According to RJP sources, all members of the central committees of the parties that unified today will automatically become members of the unified party.
Addressing the unity programme here today, Thakur said the unity of the UDMF constituents was the result of the desire of people and was a historic event. Thakur said Madhes was a rashtra (nationality) established even before Kathmandu.
The state’s character has not changed at all as the state continued to treat one language, one costume and one culture as the identity of this nation, he said.
“We Madhesis are not called Nepalis. Some people say we are fighting for the recognition of Hindi, but what is the status of all other languages spoken in Madhes, such as Maithili, Bhojpuri and Awadhi, in the country?” he wondered.
Rajendra Mahato said unity of Madhesi forces meant they had already won half the battle with the state and they would emerge victorious in the fight for their rights. He said the unity of Madhesi forces was the desire of Madhesi people.
“Many people cannot believe we have united but our unity is being celebrated across Madhes as this was the desire of the region,” he said and added that 88 per cent of votes of Madhesi people went to the three major parties mainly because the Madhesi forces were divided in the past.
Sharat Singh Bhandari said Madhesis’ contribution to the nation was second to none. He said everybody should be treated equally and everybody’s access to country’s resources should be guaranteed.
Mahendra Yadav said the constituents of UDMF made sacrifice to create a party that would emerge as a national party.
Anil Kumar Jha hoped that the unified party would continue the legacy of Gajendra Narayan Singh, who had established Nepal Sadbhawana Party to champion the rights of Madhesi people.
Rajkishor Yadav said they united to fight for the rights of the marginalised communities.
A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.