Officials raise red flag for some Tarai districtsSecurity officials on Friday flagged potential problems in some Tarai districts during elections if they are held without bringing the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on board.
Security officials on Friday flagged potential problems in some Tarai districts during elections if they are held without bringing the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on board.
“It will be difficult to hold elections in Siraha and Saptari districts without convincing the Morcha,” security officials said during a regional security meeting organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Biratnagar.
During their briefings, chief district officers of the eastern region said political parties have not been able to organise election campaigns in Siraha and Saptari districts, hinting at a lack of conducive environment for them to canvass in the region.
The agitating Morcha, which has announced protests against the government’s failure to address its concern of the constitution amendment, has warned of disrupting the local level elections slated for May 14.
Polls will be difficult in these districts even if polling centres are fixed now, sources quoted security officials as saying during the meeting.
The Election Commission (EC) has long been pressing the government to help fix polling centres in some districts of the region.
CDOs of all 16 districts of the region had aired their views on election- and security-related issues during the meeting.
Home Ministry Spokesman Balkrishna Panthi said when the ministry chalked out its security plan it understood that the Madhesi Morcha would participate in elections. “If the Madhesi Morcha indeed refuses to take part in elections, we will have to devise a new security plan, as elections can’t be stopped now,” said Panthi.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi, who arrived at the meeting a little late, told the security officials that the government “is trying its best to reach an agreement with the Madhesi Morcha” to bring the parties under it on board elections.
With just a little over a month to go for elections, time is running out for the government to convince the Madhesi Morcha which has refused to budge from its stance that its demand of constitution amendment must be addressed before polls. The EC too has consistently called for a conducive environment wherein all political forces can be accommodated and polls can be held in free and fair manner.