KATHMANDU, Aug 14: In a clear indication that major political parties are further fortifying their camps against each other, 26 political parties led by UCPN (Maoist) on Monday formed Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) with an objective to consolidate the strength of "pro-federalists".
Leaders involved in forging the alliance said the major objective of the group was to ensure "new constitution with federalism and identity based federalism".
Leaders said UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will head the 26-member committee comprised of members from 26 political parties in the alliance. Major Madhes-based political parties and some other fringe parties have joined the alliance. They said a formal announcement of the alliance will be made at a press meet on Wednesday.
Dan Bahadur Kurmi Chaudhary, who was present at the meeting, claimed that they chose to make the formal announcement on Wednesday as they were yet to finalize the alliance´s three-page announcement paper. The meeting, held at the prime minister´s official residence at Baluwatar, also entrusted a group of five leaders with the task of finalizing the draft.
Finance Minister Barshaman Pun from UCPN (Maoist), Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hridayesh Tripathi from Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Jitendra Dev of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), Prem Bahadur Singh of Socialist People´s Party and Bishwendra Paswan of Dalit Janajati Party are in the taskforce.
"Leaders from the alliance´s member parties have agreed on two options to end the current political stalemate," Chaudhary told Republica. "The first option is to hold new election of the Constituent Assembly (CA) and another alternative is to reinstate the CA." He said they have also agreed to reduce the number of lawmakers if they go for fresh elections.
They have also decided to include leaders from civil society and some experts such as politcal scientist Krishna Hachhethu in the alliance.
While CPN-Maoist had last week announced an alliance, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML leaders have accused the UCPN (Maoist) leaders of unnecessarily polarizing the politics by forming alliances in the name of so-called federalists and anti-federalists.
Parties represented at the meeting include UCPN (Maoist), Madhesi People´s Rights Forum, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Republican, Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party, Federal Sadbhavana Party, Rastriya Sadbhavana Party, Sadbhavana Party, Nepal Democratic Socialist Party, Nepal Family Party, CPN-ML (Socialist), Churebhawar Rastriya Ekta Party, Tamsaling Nepal Rastriya Dal, Nawa Janawadi Morcha, Nawa Nepal Nirwan Party and Nepaa Rastriya Party, among others.