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RJP announces stir to foil local elections

By Our Reporter
Rastriya-Janata-PartyFinally, the Madhes-based parties united under Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP) did what this weekly has been predicting since long. The Madhes-based parties which can act only at the instruction of their masters in New Delhi were sure to not participate in the local polls. Their only intention was to foil the election by buying time in one pretext or another and make the constitution dysfunctional. This was what The People’s Review reported since long and it has become true.
The government believing the words of the leaders of the RJP-N, which have been acting in favour of New Delhi, postponed the election dates twice, amended the Local Election Act and allowed them time to submit authentic signature of the office bearers. But they decided not take part and disrupt the local poll.
When the government was working to amend the Local Election Act to allow the RJP to take the election symbol of one of the Madhes-based parties, the leader were holding a meeting to announce the protests in Tarai.
The RJP decided to boycott the poll and announced its protest programmes immediately after a meeting held between the party and the government failed to reach a conclusion.
The RJP said it would impose indefinite period general strike from June 24. Likewise, it said it would announce strike in Tarai, Tharuwan and Likbuwan from June 13 to 16 to disrupt the nomination process.
The activists of the RJP have already started taking torch rallies in Tarai. They also made attempts to disturb the meeting of the CPN-UML and the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal. However, eyewitnesses said only negligible number of activists of RJP took to the street. Similarly, the RJP activists demonstrated against Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayudi Prasad Yadav when he was in his home town Rajbiraj recently.
Upendra Yadav, the chairman of Federal Alliance, who was together with the Madhes-based parties until one and a half months ago, has been a new target of the RJP-N only because he has participated in the local election. The RJP activists tried to disrupt his mass meeting in Sarlahi a few days ago.
When Upendra Yadav and Dr Baburam Bhattarai, who were against holding the local poll without amending the constitution have joined the election fray, the RJP-N decided to disrupt it. Yadav said he decided to take part in the poll as he found that the people in Tarai were in favour of election. Yadav also contested the first phase poll while Naya Shakti of Dr Bhattarai used the election symbol (torch) of Yadav’s party.
Both Yadav and Dr Bhattarai have urged the RJP-N leaders to participate in the local poll. But they did not budge. Instead, they have demanded postponement of the second phase poll in Province 2 and 5, which was rejected by both the government the Election Commission.
Although the government decided to hold the local election in two phases instead of holding it in a single phase on may 14 as planned earlier at the request of the RJP-N leaders, the RJP-leaders did not reciprocate the flexibility shown by the government, and continued to add new demands. The government announced to hold the second phase poll on June 14 and the date was deferred twice thereafter. Still the RJP-N asking to postpone the poll rescheduled for June 28. The Election Act was amended and the EC granted three days to submit official signatures of the office bearers. But the RJP-N missed the deadline.
Although RJP knows well that the constitution cannot be amended unless the main opposition party, the CPN-UML, becomes ready to support the amendment bill, the RJP leaders have been sticking to the same demand. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed his commitment to amend the constitution only after holding the second phase poll. But RJP decided to boycott and disrupt the poll.
However political analysts as well as Upendra Yadav have claimed that the RJP would not be able to disrupt the poll as most people in Tarai want election.
Yadav in an interview to The Rising Nepal said that one if the causes for RJP not to participate in the poll was the fear of losing the election. “…they are afraid of losing the election because they have not been able to make sufficient poll preparations due to their confusion and dilemma,” Yadav said in the interview.
When the RJP decided to boycott the poll, many affluent leaders associated with RJP-N are now joining UML and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal of Yadav as they want to contest the poll. By the Election Day, most of the activists of the RJP are likely to desert the party. Signs to this have already become visible.
“They (Madhes-based parties) will disrupt polls only in a few places, where the government can hold re-election by tightening security,” said a journalist from Janakpur in the condition of anonymity.
The decision of RJP leaders is likely to become suicidal for them. If they fail to disrupt the poll as they have planned, and the people participate in election, the RJP will only be losing its popular base further. When all political parties including MJF-N of Upendra Yadav and Naya Shakti are contesting the poll, the boycott of RJP is sure to be ineffective.

Government shows flexibility to bring RJP in election

By Our Reporter
In a bid to ensure the participation of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP) in the second phase local election rescheduled for June 28, the Legislature Parliament amended the law relating to the election symbol on Sunday.
Adopting a fast-track method, the parliament made the amends to the Election Act allowing the agitating RJP-N to use any of the six symbols used the by the six Madhes-based parties, which were united under the new party-RJP-N. The Parliament had suspended rules 114 (1), 119, 120 and 127 (1) of the Parliament Regulations to pass the bill.
Likewise, the government wrote the Supreme Court requesting the latter to vacate its earlier interim order against the government decision to increase the number of local units in the Tarai region.
Earlier, the Election Commission had granted the political parties three days to submit the signatures of the office bearers who issue tickets to the candidates of their respective political parties. However, the RJP-N did not submit the signatures even in three days. Instead it announced protest programme with a sole intention of disrupting the local poll rescheduled for June 28. The RJP has been asking to further postponement of the election in Province 2 and 5. But the ruling parties as well as the Election Commission outright rejected their demands.

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