By Our Reporter
Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) that was the last party to make its election manifestopublic has shocked the people by unveiling a controversial manifesto last week. The manifesto that contains several incendiary contents undermining the country’s territorial integrity received wide public criticism. Even the leaders of the RJP-N and other Madhes-based parties have criticised its manifesto.
Above all, it has included a secessionist point calling Nepal a multi-nation state, which has openly challenged the constitution that has, in its preamble, defined Nepal as an ‘independent, indivisible and sovereign’ country.
The RJP-N has also included a dangerous promise of providing Rs 5 million each to the families of martyrs killed during the Madhesh agitation with an ill intention of wooing the innocent voters. The manifesto pledges to distribute a golden ornament weighing half tola to the Madhesi girls who have completed school level education and reached marriageable age.
The manifesto drafted under the leadership of Mahantha Thakur has drawn flaks even from the Mdahesi leaders for calling Nepal ‘multi-national country.’ By making public a highly controversial election manifesto, the RJPN-N has attempted to play on the ethnic and cultural differences to fulfill its vested interest.
It is noteworthy to recall a few facts associated with the present-day RJP-N. When the Madhesi parties launched their first movement in 2007, they had pushed for One Madhes One Province covering the flat land from Jhapa in the east to Kanchanpur in the far-west. However, their demand for single Madhes province met with widespread opposition from different quarters. This forced them to agree on two provinces across the plain. Their main motive was to segregate Terai from the hill.
The demand of One Madhes One Province agenda was widely believed to be a geopolitical agenda of the southern neighbour that it pushed through the Madhes-based parties. Now it has become clear that the RJP-N has tried to elevate the single Madhes province agenda to the status of ‘nation,’ which has become a tricky concept. Surprisingly, RJP-N general secretaries – KeshabJha and Manish Kumar Suman – have blasted the manifesto, terming it the personal views of coordinator Thakur. The RJP-N and NC are on the same page when it comes to castigating the Left Alliance.