UDMF won’t accept LBRC report: Leaders

Kathmandu, January 7

The Mahantha Thakur-led Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, a constituent of United Democratic Madhesi Front, issued a press release saying it would not accept the Local Bodies Restructuring Commission’s report.

The LBRC submitted its report to the government yesterday proposing to create 719 local bodies.

The TMDP said that as per the accepted principle of federalism, local bodies, including special/protected and autonomous areas, are under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.

The party also stated that the LBRC’s report had ignored the criterion of population for restructuring local bodies. “Madhes cannot accept the report as it goes against the basic concept of federal state restructuring and against Article 56 (4) and (5) and Article 295 (3) of the constitution,” the party said in its release.

TMDP Vice-chair   Brikhesh Chandra Lal said the agitating Madhesi forces and the UDMF could not accept the report mainly because it was against the principles of federalism and representation on the basis of population.

It is up to the provincial government how it wants to develop its local bodies. Here the centre is dictating work that falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial government, Lal argued.

Tarai/Madhes, he added, is home to 52 per cent of the population but it is getting only up to 25 per cent local bodies, which will have adverse impact on the representation of Madhes in the presidential election and formation of the Upper House of Parliament.

“When local bodies are a part of the electoral system that elects the president and sends members to the Upper House of the Parliament, the restructuring of local bodies should be done on the basis of population,” Lal argued.

Lal said fewer local bodies in Madhes would also affect development activities in Madhes. “Often, the government allocates budget and development fund to local bodies, and therefore, Madhes will get less development budget, which will affect development activities in the region,” he added.

Rajendra Mahato Chair of Sadbhawana Party, a constituent of UDMF, said the UDMF had repeatedly said that it would not accept the LBRC’s report. He said the report was unconstitutional and undemocratic.

“Madhes, where more than half of the population lives, is not getting even one-third of local bodies. If this report is implemented, it will adversely impact the Tarai residents’ representation and development,” he said, adding that the report could provide another legal basis for the state to exploit the Madhes and discriminate against people of the region.

Mahato also said that the CPN-UML had used its influence to restructure local bodies so that it could win more local level elections.