Madheshi leaders must participate in Second Round of local Poll (Editorial)

The Madheshi parties want their demands fulfilled before the second round of the local poll. So they have announced protest programs aimed at disrupting the poll, arguing that their demands have not been fulfilled. The demands include re-delineation of provincial boundaries, citizenship, language, increase in local units in proportion to population, delimitation of constituencies on the basis of population, creation of autonomous, special and protected regions, etc. Even the government’s attempt at appeasing them by increasing local units in the Terai has failed to appease them. As the first round of the local poll has been concluded, it is obligatory on the government to conduct the second round of the poll as well. Had the local poll been conducted in one go it would have been far better.  But the government decided to hold the poll in two rounds to appease the Madheis parties. As things stand, the trick of the Madhesi parties could be to manipulate the second round of the poll by increasing local units or engaging in some other gimmick. As their intentions seem to have conked out, they have announced protest programs so as to bring the government to its knees.
The constitution amendment bill has proved to be a hard nut to crack for the government. The government lacks a clear majority to pass the bill. The CPN-UML has been constantly opposing the bill from the very get-go. Without the CPN-UML’s support, it will be difficult to mobilize a two-thirds majority. That is why the government has been dillydallying in taking action on the bill.
The main challenge before the nation is not the constitution amendment bill. First, it is imperative for the government to conclude the elections to the second round of the local poll and then to the provincial and federal elections by January 2018. These elections are a must for the institutionalization of the federal setup. As far as the constitution amendment bill is concerned, it may be recalled that the constitution is yet to be implemented. So there is ample time for amending the constitution by holding deliberations and in keeping with the times as the constitution was proclaimed around two years ago.
If they are really pro-public parties, they should respect the adult franchise of the people and should never even think of depriving them of this right which is also encapsulated in the constitution. With the success of the first round of the poll, the people are expected to turn out in large numbers to cast their votes in the second round as well. Even the Madhesi people are eagerly waiting for the second round of the poll. The Madhesi parties should also respect the expectations and aspirations of the people.
Therefore, it would be in the interests of the nation and the people, including the Madheshi denizens, to conduct the second round of the local poll with active support from all the political parties and the people. In this regard, the Madheshi parties should for go their insistence on having their demands fulfilled at any cost and let the poll proceed without any hindrance or setback by calling off their protest program.

Published Date  : June 12, 2017 Monday .

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