Nepal’s agitating Madhesis on Friday announced a fresh round of nationwide stir on January 2 if the government went ahead with local polls without amending the Constitution, further deepening the political crisis. The United Democratic Madhesi Front held meeting yesterday and today during which the leaders said if elections were held without amending the Constitution, which was promulgated last year and has been a bone of contention for the community largely of Indian-origin, it would not be acceptable to them.
The Front – consisting of major Madhes-centric parties – added that the constitution amendment bill registered in the parliament could not address their demands if it was not revised, local media reported.
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It said demonstrations will be held in major cities nationwide on Monday in order to protest attempts to announce local poll dates before the Constitution amendment. The meeting also criticised the main opposition CPN-UML for continuously obstructing the Parliament meeting with an intention to block the government from tabling the Constitution amendment bill and holding discussions on it, terming it as undemocratic and against the parliament norms.
Tarai Madhes Loktantric Party chairman Mahantha Thakur said the announcement of the election without constitution amendment will not resolve the problem but would create more tussle. In a press conference after the meeting, he added that the decision has been taken to pressurise the government to pass the amendment bill with some alterations and that the Morcha will not accept any level elections unless the bill is passed.
Madhesis had launched a six-month-long agitation beginning September last year, in which over 50 people lost their lives and also saw blockade of Nepal’s all trading points with India, resulting in huge shortage of essential commodities and souring Indo-Nepal ties. The community wants the government to rewrite the Constitution so that the concept of secularism, identity-based proportional inclusive representation and federal democratic republic status to Nepal could be constitutionally ensured.