KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Influential leader of Madheshi Morcha and Tarai-Madhesh Loktantrik Party Chair Mahantha Thakur has warned not to let election take place unless the constitution amendment bill is passed. He said election cannot be held given the current political circumstances and hinted his party would interfere if election is held forcefully by big three parties.
The edited excerpt of the interview of chairman Thakur with senior journalist Rishi Dhamala:
Isn’t Madheshi Morcha ready for election?
Election with in specified date has been just leaders’ talk- nothing more. Election of what?
Well, talking about local level elections barely is not enough. The issue of local level election has dealt too many disagreements. Should it be held, it must adhere to the principles of population. How could election be accomplished in such environment that is encircled with too many political discrepancies? We have already said that we won’t participate in elections unless the tabled bill is passed in the parliament. We not only oppose but will interfere too.
Top three parties have decided to go to election since they saw no other alternative to it, haven’t they?
Everyone has right to expression. People can think and speak for the welfare of nation. The three parties said election is the ultimate escape for positive national outlet. But, Is every word they spoke right enough?
CPM-UML chairman KP Sharma Oli has told PM Prachanda that local level election will be held except in some districts of Madhesh and that government should be set for election, hasn’t he?
Yes, definitely yes. They sing slogans of unity and but themselves speak disintegrating words. They are the ones who do the only blaming.
Hasn’t KP Oli accused you of being secessionist?
Who spoke about division? If your rights and privileges are not guaranteed in your country, shall we not look for other options?
But people are demanding election, aren’t they?
Yes, people are demanding election. But has their demand been addressed? Today’s ruling bodies came to power after burning the previous constitution. Current constitution is full of debate. Correcting it needs two-third majority. What about the agreement. Autonomous Madhesh—which was granted by the interim constitution– cannot be ruled out. What came aftermath was controversial constitution. And, we haven’t agreed on the constitution amendment proposal bill.
Hadn’t Prime Minister put forward the constitution amendment bill in order to address your demands?
If he had, shouldn’t it be as what we demanded? They should not have neglected what was included in the interim constitution. As I already told you, Autonomous Madhesh was in the deal, and it’s not in the amendment proposal.
If so, is it right that the constitution amendment proposal is not Madhesh favorable?
Clearly! Since, it does not address our demands at the current context; government must forward the bill with correction.
People want to know what if government does not become ready to make correction.
I have already told people about this. This proposal was not acceptable to us before, neither is to us now.
The four issues have to be corrected first, and then we will make peace with that.
Then, does citizenship need correcting?
New issue came in the interim constitution. Is it a threat just to overturn the previous agreements? This constitution was adapted breaching the basic principle of interim constitution. Rights and privileges were established in interim constitution which is not secured in the current one.
What is your demand about Awarding Citizenship?
We have already spoken on that. What is provisioned in interim constitution should be applied.
Madheshi Morcha demanded that the constitution amendment proposal must be passed, didn’t they?
This proposal bill hasn’t addressed our demands.
Whose proposal was tabled in the parliament, then?
It might be government’s proposal.
Is Madheshi Morcha against the passing of the proposal?
It must be passed addressing our issues. Only then, we will come to agreement otherwise we will choose our own path.
Why is there need for amendment of constitution if it is not acceptable to everyone?
We do not agree when one brings the proposal in one hand and gun in another.
Prime Minister has said the constitution amendment proposal was forwarded in favor of Madheshi Morcha, hasn’t he?
It’s not true. Discussing it at the present situation is worthless.
What will you do if government announces the date of election?
We will oppose it.
How will you oppose?
Are you boycotting the election?
I said we will oppose. At present context, we won’t any kind of election.