Prominent Madhesi party to boycott second phase of Nepal local polls

The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal will organise local strikes in Madhes, Tharuhat and Limbuwan focusing on the nomination days--June 13 to 16--and a national indefinite general strike from June 24.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2017 21:26 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal election,Madhesi,Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal
A Nepalese election commission officer empties a ballot box prior to counting the votes of local elections in Kathmandu on May 15. The second phase of the polls is scheduled on June 28.(AP File)

A prominent faction of Madhes-based parties in Nepal on Sunday decided to boycott the local polls and announced a general strike ahead of the elections scheduled for June 28.

The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, a coalition of seven parties led by Mahanta Thakur, announced fresh protests saying all doors have been shut for meaningful talks with the government on amending the Constitution to meet demands of the Madhesis.

Local general strikes will be held in Madhes, Tharuhat and Limbuwan focusing on the nomination days--June 13 to 16--and a national indefinite general strike will be organised from June 24.

Another faction of Madhes-based parties led by Upendra Yadav and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar have already decided to take part in the elections.

A meeting held by the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) with RJP-N earlier on Sunday ended inconclusively, leading to the latter's decision to go for protests.

The ruling alliance called it unfortunate and urged the RJP-N not to resort to protests.

“This election is going to be an illegitimate one”, said Thakur, claiming his coalition was forced to announce protests after the government failed to fulfil their concerns. “Since the dialogues also failed to yield any positive results, we have decided to begin struggle from Monday.”

Thakur said the government failed to fulfil the commitments such as declaring those who died in the Madhesi agitation as martyrs, withdrawing fake cases, releasing those languishing in prisons and compensating those injured during the anti-Constitution protests.

“Cabinet has taken initiative to fulfil some demands but they were not implemented yet,” he said, adding the government also failed to endorse the amendment proposal registered in the Parliament and to increase the number of local administrative units in the plains on the basis of population.

The protests would begin from Monday with torch rallies at different parts of the country including district headquarters.

The RJP-N will padlock all elections offices throughout the four provinces on June 16 on the nomination day and hold rallies in districts across Tarai region.

On June 19, rallies would be organised at all the district headquarters of four provinces and from June 20 to 28, the coalition of Madhesi and ethnic groups would disturb all election-related activities.

First Published: Jun 11, 2017 20:23 IST