Mahato’s Sadbhawana Party plans new allianceAmid growing differences with other constituents of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), the Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party is planning to form a separate alliance with other Madhes-based fringe parties.
Amid growing differences with other constituents of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), the Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party is planning to form a separate alliance with other Madhes-based fringe parties.
Earlier this week, other three SLMM members—Tarai Madhesi Loktantrik Party, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal and Tarai Madhesi Sadbhawana Party— had asked Mahato to either leave the alliance or toe the Morcha’s line. They had censured Mahato for some of his remarks, which they said had dealt a blow to the Tarai agitation and described them as anti-Madhes.
Days before the Birgunj-Raxaul border reopened after remaining closed for 135 days, Mahato had said “there is
no point continuing with border protests”.
Mahato’s remarks had not gone down well with other SLMM constituents and their leaders, who are of the view that “the announcement was premature and was made without Morcha’s consent”. In this regard, they had even sought clarification from Mahato for his remarks.
Sources say Mahato, who is unhappy with the Morcha, has now intensified informal discussions with leaders of the Sanghiya Samabeshi Madhesi Gathabandan and other fringe Madhes-based parties to form a separate alliance.
The SSMG, which is also an alliance of four Madhes-based parties, has been leading a separate protest in the Tarai plains.
The SSMG includes Sharat Singh Bhandari-led Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party, Raj Kishor Yadav-led Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Republican, Anil Kumar Jha-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party and Jaya Prakash Gupta-led Tarai Madhes Rastriya Abhiyan.
SLMM leaders have often tended to look askance at Mahato for his “vacillating positions”.
When the Morcha had intensified talks with three major parties to seek a point of compromise on Tarai crisis, Mahato used to accuse Morcha leaders, including TMLP Chair Mahantha Thakur, of “wasting time in the Capital”.
He had even shifted his office to Birgunj and was at the forefront of border
When talks between the Morcha and the major parties broke down in the third week of January, Mahato started campaigning for a grand alliance between the SLMM and SSMG allies. The campaign failed to gather momentum after other constituents of the Morcha did not show much interest.
But out of the blue, days ahead of Morcha’s scheduled meeting called to decide on further move, Mahato dropped a bombshell as he spoke against the border protests, only to rile other Morcha constituents no end. His remarks, it seems, came as the last nail in the coffin.
Mahato fell out with other Morcha leaders.
Leaders said Mahato now is planning to form a rival alliance “to appease the core Madhesi constituencies”.
However, fringe parties
are yet to agree on Mahato’s proposal.
But Mahato is not the only Madhesi leader in this race.
SLMM leaders say they too are also holding discussions with some Madhes-based parties so that they could launch “a unified protest”.