Rastriya Janata Party and Samajbadi Party eye electoral alliance for November 30 pollsThe Janata Party will support the Samajbadi Party for three provincial assembly and a federal parliament seat.
With dialogue for a potential unification between the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal and ruling coalition partner, Samajbadi Party Nepal, taking too long, the two parties have now decided to focus on an alliance for the upcoming November 30 by-elections.
Rastriya Janata Party Nepal failed to file nominations for three provincial assembly and one federal parliament seats, as the party’s only candidate did not have his name on the voter list. As many as 65 candidates filed their nominations for the four open seats on Thursday within the time allocated by the Election Commission.
“We had an understanding that the Samajbadi Party would support us in Dang-3 but we could not file our nomination because our candidate was not on the voter’s list,” said Keshav Jha, general secretary of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal. “Now we will support the candidates of the Samajbadi Party in the four provincial and federal parliament seats.”
The by-elections are being held on November 30 to elect one federal parliament member, three provincial assembly members, one mayor, three rural municipality chairmen, one rural municipality vice-chair and 43 ward chairs.
The Madhes-based party, which had forged an electoral alliance with the then Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum during the 2017 polls, will now forge an alliance with the newly formed Samajbadi Party in the by-elections at the local levels. The two parties have also been running a coalition government in Province 2.
The two parties have formed separate task forces to discuss their electoral alliance. However, the task force has not finalised the issue of an electoral alliance at the local level yet.
“We have been discussing for the last two days and talks will continue. We will come to a conclusion before the nomination, which is scheduled for November 13,” Jha told the Post.
Janata Party leaders claimed that the party has been waiting for the Samajbadi Party— formed after the merger of the Upendra Yadav-led Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum and the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party in May—to vacate the Nepal Communist Party-led government.
Bhattarai’s faction in the newly formed party has also been pressing Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Yadav to quit the government at the earliest, as the ruling party has not shown any interest in amending the constitution, which was the only condition set by Yadav to join the government.
The Samajbadi Party, of which Yadav and Bhattarai are both chairpersons, has called a central committee meeting on November 15 and 16, which is expected to decide whether the party should quit the government or not.
“We are waiting for the Samajbadi Party to leave the government. Once they decide, the merger process will be expedited,” said Jha.
On the other hand, Samajbadi leaders have been saying that the upcoming central committee meeting of the party will discuss whether the party should remain in government or not.
“The two chairpersons will come up with a political report, which will include all major issues, including the party’s role in government, merger with the Janata Party, alliance for the by-election, and the conclusion of the integration process,” said Prashant Singh, the party secretary and chief of the publicity department.
The Samajbadi Party has already delegated a talks team for the electoral alliance with the Janata Party. The team includes Renu Yadav, Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut, Ram Sahay Yadav and Bijay Yadav. General Secretary Jha has been holding talks from the Janata Party.