Kathmandu, 11 September, 2017 : Almost all the parties except the CPN-UML have been canvassing for votes in Province 2 promising the Madhesi people constitution amendment.
The parties have pledged to register a constitution amendment bill in Parliament after the provincial and federal parliamentary elections. Parties including the Nepali Congress, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and the CPN (Maoist Centre) have blamed the UML for the failure of the amendment bill during a vote in Parliament last month.
However, the UML argues that it protested against the bill as the other parties had tried to provide “national language” status to Hindi. The UML is campaigning with a message that Maithali, Abadhi and Tharu languages should be prioritised as national languages. Shree Prasad Sah, a central member of the UML, said the NC, the Maoist Centre and the RJP-N were staging a drama over constitution amendment. Another UML cadre in Janakpur, Krishna Kumar Jha said the party was not against constitution amendment. “Only some people were against the bill,” he said.
Political analyst Bhogendra Jha said another political force will emerge in the Madhes if the existing parties fail to address the issue of constitution amendment on time. Another observer Surendra Labh sees the elections as ‘mini referendum’ on the constitution promulgated two years ago. The NC has made construction of the Hulaki Highway as its main agenda. The UML has promised good governance at the local level. The RJP-N, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum and the Nepal Loktantrik Forum have stressed development, establishment of universities, Chure conservation and resettlement of flood victims during their campaigns.