Experts in Madhes urge all to exercise restraintWary of more violent confrontations between the CPN-UML and the Madhesi Morcha over scheduled local level elections and the former’s poll campaign in the Tarai, experts from the Madhes region have called on both parties to maintain restraint.
Wary of more violent confrontations between the CPN-UML and the Madhesi Morcha over scheduled local level elections and the former’s poll campaign in the Tarai, experts from the Madhes region have called on both parties to maintain restraint.
Three persons died on Monday in a police firing when security personnel resorted to force to stop supporters of the Madhesi Morcha from disrupting a mass meeting organised by the UML in Saptari.
“Both sides should exercise restraint,” said Surendra Labh, a professor from Janakpur. “The country is in crisis. People are facing difficulties as leaders have failed to end the deadlock,” Labh told the Post over the phone on Monday afternoon, hours before reports of three deaths came from Saptari.
The Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government came to power with the promise that it would address the demand of constitution amendment of the Madhes-based parties. But stiff opposition from the UML, which has called the constitution amendment bill tabled by the government “against national interest”, the government failed to push it in Parliament. Dahal who promised local elections within nine months of his return to power declared polls for May 14—a decision the Morcha has taken as betrayal.
The UML’s “Mechi-Mahakali National Campaign” that started from Jhapa on Saturday has been opposed by the Madhes-based parties, who have been saying such a move “would flare up further tension in the already tense region”. The UML’s mass meeting on Monday culminated in three casualties.
There is “nationalism” on one side and “Madhesbaad” on the other, and this has brought polarisation in society, say experts here.
“A middle path is need of the hour,” said Labh, adding that the Madhes region will continue to remain tense till the time there is a face-off between the UML and the Madhes-based parties. “Had there been an understanding between the two sides, UML’s campaign and Morcha’s protests could have gone simultaneously.”
Rajanikant Jha, a political expert from Sarlahi, said that the Morcha is not in a position to participate in polls even if it wants to.
“It cannot take part in elections without fulfilling the commitments the Morcha leaders had made during earlier protests,” said Jha.
The experts also stressed that the Morcha leaders need to take cognizance of the fact that “failing to produce tangible results despite repeated protests” could make them lose their significance in their own region.