(Updated) Madheshi parties, left alliance fail to reach deal on National Assembly election

Kathmandu, January 23

Update 1800hrs: Talks between the left and the Madhesh-based parties to forge an electoral alliance for the upcoming National Assembly elections have failed.

According to UML leaders, the talks failed after the Madhesh-based parties demanded that the UML agree to form a commission to re-draw provincial boundaries–a demand Madheshi parties have been raising for a long time.

Earlier report:

Two key Madheshi parties–Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal–have proposed the left alliance consisting CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre that the three parties partner with each other for upcoming National Assembly elections so as to ‘chase away’ the Nepali Congress from Province 2.

The  two parties have begun discussions with the UML leadership with the proposal.

UML leader Suubas Chandra Nembang says the Madheshi parties told so as the UML formally expressed the desire for partnership during a meeting held at the UML’s parliamentary party office in Singhadarbar today.

He says the Madheshi powerhouses, which jointly hold the majority in the provincial assembly as well as local levels of Province 2, are ready to form the alliance with the UML. However, they have not reached any conclusion about the amount of share they get in the elections.

A source says the Madheshi parties have demanded that they be given six of eight seats of candidates in the province. The UML has been ready to give five seats.

If contested separately, the Madheshi alliance (RJPN and Forum) are likely to win four seats in the province, whereas the left alliance (UML and Maoist Centre) and the Congress will win two seats each. But, if the Madheshi and the left alliances unite, the Congress is unlikely to win any seat here.

“We will meet again this afternoon about the matter,” a leader involved in the discussion says. During the negotiations, left leaders have offered that they can take the Madheshi powerhouses together into the new government too if they agree to the proposal.

UML’s Nembang and Agni Kharel, Maoist Centre’s Barsha Man Pun and Matrika Yadav, Forum-Nepal’s Rajemdra Shrestha and RJPN’s Sarvendra Nath Shukla, Ram Naresh Yadav and Brishesh Chanda Lal were present during the meeting held earlier today.

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