LAHAN, Oct 8: Aspirants for membership of parliament and the provincial assembly in Province 2 are excited over the decision of the two major Madhes-based political parties to forge an electoral alliance for the upcoming polls.
The decision of the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) to field common candidates for the elections to parliament and the provincial assembly has been welcomed by party cadres and well-wishers in most districts of the province.
Madhes-based political parties have not achieved the desired results in their stronghold area while contesting elections separately. Despite their being together in all the political movements during the last decade, the Madhesi parties had failed to come together during elections.
Some analysts of Madhes-related issues say that the results of the recently held local level elections have triggered the two Madhesi parties into joining hands for the upcoming elections. Madhes analyst Bihay Prasad Mishra believes that the votes secured by FSFN and RJPN in local elections have driven the two parties toward a poll alliance. "Voters in core Madhes areas encouraged the two parties to form an alliance in the next polls," he said.
The Nepali Congress won most seats in the recent local elections in Province 2 but the votes secured by FSFN and RJPN together add up to more than NC's vote. "They received huge numbers of votes even though they contested the polls separately. They now believe that contesting the elections jointly would attract more voters to them," claimed Mishra.
FSFN Central Committee Member Raj Kumar Gupta is excited over the decision of FSFN and RJPN to field common candidates for parliament and the provincial assembly. Writing on his Facebook wall, he said, "Today is a historic day for Madhes." Gupta is a candidate for the provincial assembly from Siraha 1 (B). FSFN had secured most votes in this constituency in the local polls, followed by CPN-UML and Nepali Congress.
Other aspirants for parliament and the provincial assembly also appeared delighted with the decision of the two major Madhesi parties. The government has announced elections for parliament and the provincial assembly in this province for December 7.
The two Madhesi parties are expected to choose the Nepali Congress-led alliance if they had to join hands with one of the two recently announced alliances, said Gupta. Though both parties have said that they are open for alliance they are yet to take any decision. While the UML took a hard line towards the Madhes movements in the past, Congress appeared relatively more positive.
But Tula Narayan Saha, another analyst of Madhes affairs, believes that there is no difference between Nepali Congress, UML and the Maoists when it comes to addressing the demands of Madhes. "There is no substantial difference between the three major political parties when it comes to constitutional amendments to settle the Madhes issue," he said.
Saha claimed that the two Madhesi parties are likely to join the Congress-led alliance. But he added that allocating constituencies would be a tough task while forging an alliance between Congress and the Madhesi parties as both claim Madhes as their stronghold.