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Madhesi parties to boycott all polls until their demands met

The alliance of seven Madhesi parties said they will picket all district election offices in their stronghold in Tarai region from next week and will announce other protest programmes in detail later.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2017 01:54 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Madhes protest,Nepal constitution,Prachanda
Nepalese activists from the Federal Alliance (members of the Madhesi and ethnic communities) chant anti-constitution slogans on the first anniversary of Nepal's new constitution in Kathmandu on September 19, 2016.(AFP File)

Nepal’s Madhes-based parties on Wednesday decided to boycott the local elections slated for May 14 and announced a fresh protest saying the new constitution amendment moved by the government is even more regressive than the previous one.

The move by the alliance of seven Madhesi parties threw into disarray the plans of the government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘ Prachanda’ to hold polls after a gap of 20 years.

The alliance said they will picket all district election offices in their stronghold of Tarai from next week and announce other protest programmes in detail later.

A meeting of Madhes-based parties concluded they would not take ownership of the constitution amendment registered in Parliament on Tuesday.

They said the new proposal has not addressed revision of provincial boundaries, the key demand of Madhesis, and that no provisions pertaining to citizenship, national assembly and language has been changed from the old proposal.

The Madesi alliance says the content in the proposal was different from what was agreed upon by the joint task-force of ruling parties and Morcha leaders.

The fundamental demand, said the alliance in a statement, is to change demarcation of the provincial boundaries which the government has failed to fulfil.

The government had registered the new amendment in a bid to persuade the Madhes-based parties to take part in all three tiers of elections- local, provincial and central.

More than 70 people have died in Nepal’s southern belt during the anti-constitution movement after major parties in Nepal promulgated the new statute in September 2015 without approval from the Madhes-based parties.

Prachanda repeatedly said in public he had prepared a draft of new amendment in consultation with Madhes-based leaders, which they said on Wednesday was not true. They denied the government’s claim that the new proposal was brought in after taking the Madhesi Morcha into confidence.

The government had registered a proposal in Parliament earlier in November but withdrew it as it could not get the backing of Madhes-based parties and main opposition CPN-UML.

First Published: Apr 12, 2017 17:52 IST