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Will the Madhesi Front surrender?

By Our Reporter
Amidst the conflicting media reports about the views of the leaders of the Madhes-based parties regarding the local polls, there is still uncertain whether the Madhes-based parties willactually  boycott the polls as they are claiming now or they will surrender and take part in the polls.
When most people even in the Tarai are in favour of local polls, their boycott may be ineffective. But again they cannot give up their demand of constitution amendment before the polls.
However, most of the Madhes-based leaders are now in the Tarai to spoil the environment of elections. On Saturday, they addressed a joint meeting of the seven Madhesi parties in Maleth, where five people were killed on March 6 while they tried to attack the UML’s mass meeting. The Madhesi leaders called for unity among the Madhes-based parties, and committed to disrupt the polls.
But the NC and Maoist leaders have been claiming that the Madhes-based parties will participate in the elections,and they are going to strike a deal to address their demands after the polls.
The leaders of the ruling NC have also said that the local polls could be impossible if the Madhes-based parties do not participate in it.
Even Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has floated the idea of meeting their demands except for the demarcation of province boundaries.  The media reported that PM Dahal tried to assure the agitating Madhesi leaders to form a high level commission to decide the boundaries of provinces. But the Madhesi leaders have not yet trusted him.
No matter what the government and the ruling parties do to convince the Madhesi leaders to participate in the polls, they will not budge unless India tells them to join the election fray, and India has been against the polls. As such, participation of the Madhesi Front in the election looks still uncertain. And if they participate, it will send a message that India has surrendered to UML’s stance because the Madhesi leaders are threatening to boycott and disrupt the polls in the hope of receiving full backing of India as during their 2015 movement.  Moreover, the Madhesi leaders seem to be protesting against the UML, not against the government.

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