Four more UDMF parties withdraw support for govt

March 17, 2017 00:30 AM Republica

KATHMANDU, March 17: Four more parties in the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) have officially notified Speaker Onsari Gharti about their decision to withdraw support for the government.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal was elected the country's 39th prime minister last August with support from the Nepali Congress, the largest party in parliament, and the agitating Madhes-based parties.

Representatives of the Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Republican, Sadhbhavana Party and Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party officially handed over the letters to this effect to the speaker's secretary Dilliram Rijal at the secretariat of the speaker on Thursday.

Two UDMF allies -- Tarai Madhes Sadhbhavana Party and Sanghiya Sadhbhavana Party -- have not yet informed the speaker about their decision though all top Madhesi leaders maintain that they have withdrawn their support for the government.

The Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), another party in the front, had informed the speakers about its decision on Wednesday.

 "The UDMF is longer with the ruling alliance. We will now focus our all energy on protesting against the elections," FSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav told Republica. He accused the government of shunning consensus politics by ignoring the ultimatum issued by the Madhesi parties.

Though the UDMF's withdrawal of support will not bring down the government, it comes as a strategic loss for Dahal who was elected last year with a mandate to hold polls by taking all sides including UDMF into confidence.

Later on Thursday, the Federal Alliance, a broader alliance between Madhesi and indigenous-based parties, decided to intensify protest against the polls and announced further programs of protest. The protest programs include mass assemblies and demonstration in the capital and various districts of the tarai plains. UDMF had announced similar programs on Wednesday.

"It's more or less clear that the government wants to go to the polls without resolving the crisis. It is trying to push the country toward uncertainty by ignoring valid concerns of the agitating communities," said Yadav. 

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