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Madhesi Front to launch decisive agitation to disturb local elections

By Our Reporter
The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) is likely to launch another round of agitation in Tarai to disturb the local polls scheduled for May 14.
The Madhes-based parties, which fared badly in the Constituent Assembly Elections in 2013, have been resorting to one agitation after another against the constitution and the government preparations to hold the elections.
They have demanded that the constitution be amended before holding the elections, but the equation in the parliament is not in favour of constitution amendment. Even the Madhes-based parties have less than 45 lawmakers in the strong 595-member House. When they are unable to influence the decision of the parliament and government, they are hell-bent to foil any election by launching agitation.
These Madhes-based parties recently made an attempt to attack the UML mass meeting held in Rajbiraj, which culminated in the killings of five persons.
These parties are against not only local elections, but also the restructuring of the local units. They have already padlocked the local units in Saptari and Sarlahi districts.
They have also announced their agitation progarmmes targeting the elections. Although the people in Madhes also want elections, the leaders and cadres of the UDMF are not showing any respect to the public aspirations.  They know well that they can disturb the polls if India backs them. And India has clearly showed her unhappiness over the decision of the government to hold the local elections without amending the constitution during Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi’s India visit.
However, the government and the leaders of the main parties have committed to hold the local elections in the stipulated date of May 14. But the Election Commission has of late claimed that the government has failed to create an environment suitable for elections.
If the ruling parties are sincere to hold the local polls, they look possible. The government can hold polls in all local units except for a few in Province-2. As the people in Tarai are in favour of elections, they can participate in elections if the government manages to provide reliable security to the people. Hence, the government should not hesitate to mobilise Nepal Army in the areas, where the UDMF cadres and those of outfit organisations can disturb the polls.
However, despite pushing ahead the election agenda, the ruling parties, especially the NC, still seem to be focusing more on the issue of constitution amendment. If the political parties waste time and energy in the amendment bill, elections will be impossible on May 14.
It is noteworthy to mention here that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had announced the poll date in the pressure of NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba. But now Deuba is reportedly stressing need for amending the constitution before local polls. This double-standard of Deuba has also encouraged the Madhes-based parties to launch agitation during the elections.
Observers believe that holding elections without participation of the Madheshi parties will be meaningless. PM Dahal and NC president Deuba too are not in a mood to go for local elections by excluding the Madheshi parties.

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