The Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal could not gain much out of two phases of local level elections held in May and June. However, its Chairman Upendra Yadav is not hopeless. He says the party will emerge as the strongest force in Province 2 in the polls to be held on September 18. On the other hand, he says no one has lost in the elections, the whole nation has won.
In this context, Onlinekhabar had recently caught up with Yadav to talk about recent political developments.
Parties in Madhesh said your party did a mistake by contesting elections before the issues of Madhesh were addressed. Neither did you get exciting results from the polls. How do you review your decision to join the elections?
Nepal was heading towards uncertainty before the polls. The local elections were pending for 20 years.
Participating in the polls and amending the constitution are different issues. The constitution must be amended even if we contested the elections. The country will not move ahead without revising, amending or rewriting the constitution. Those who drafted the constitution have also accepted it.
We have struggled for republicanism and federalism for a long time. They cannot be institutionalised unless people’s elected representatives get a chance to hold power. The local level elections are meant to flourish democracy among people. So, where did we go wrong?
Are you satisfied with the poll results?
Though we had expected quite different results, we are still enthusiastic. We have received a good amount of votes from places where we had a strong organisation. We had participated in the polls for the country and its people though the situation was not in our favour. And, people have voted for us. We are grateful to them.
Shall we conclude that you are satisfied with the poll results?
We are a growing-up party. Considering the strength of our organisation, the results are satisfying. We did not have any ambition. In most places of Terai, we emerged as a competitive force. If you see the voting pattern across the country, you can see that people generally vote for the candidates from their own communities. It is what we mean by inclusiveness. That means, our principles have won in the elections.
Everyone has won, the country has won. It was not good to push the nation towards uncertainty and instability.
Does it suggest that announcing protests in April to foil the May elections was a mistake?
During that time, the government had not prepared the constitution amendment bill. After the announcement of our protests, the government registered the amendment bill, which is pending in Parliament now. It is a different situation from then. We adopted a policy to utilise the elections for our benefits once the amendment process began.
We are in favour of the amendment bill registered in the House. The polls have been postponed repeatedly to amend the constitution. Now, the proposal should be endorsed.
But, you need two-third majority in the House for amendment…
The government should have confessed that it cannot endorse the amendment if it had not had the majority support then. The state should not have agreed to do something which it cannot do.
Now, as the required majority cannot be achieved without the support of CPN-UML, we should take initiatives to bring the UML to consensus.
Are you confident that the UML will agree?
I think it will agree to amend the constitution one day. It is away from agreement today as the party is eyeing immediate benefits in the elections to come.
You had announced to launch fresh protests if constitution was not amended. Now, do you launch agitation or contest the polls?
For us, the elections are also a form of agitation. We have forwarded our agendas in front of people. We can even launch the agitation after polls. It is not possible that the constitution remains all intact just because some polls have been held. It is a stupidity to believe that contesting elections means accepting that everything is okay with the constitution.
Can we predict results of the third phase of polls in Province 2?
I am not a fortuneteller. But, I believe, voters of Province 2 will select their representatives prudently.
Will they make the Forum the strongest party?
We are hopeful with people. If they think we are doing good, they will make us a strong force. Otherwise, they will tell us to wait for some more time. We are ready for that as well. But, I think the Forum is ahead of other parties in Province 2.
Does the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal’s decision on whether to contest or boycott the polls have any effect?
It was the RJPN’s mistake not to contest the first and second phase of elections. Leaders of the party have already confessed that they lost many things. Therefore, they should not repeat the mistake in the third phase. I will call them to contest the polls jointly, and struggle for our rights jointly.
Published on July 12th, Wednesday, 2017 1:55 PM