Janajati leaders trying to give national character to new party
THIRA L BHUSAL
KATHMANDU, Sept 16: The dissident ethnic leaders from various political parties, who have been working to form a new Federal Socialist Party, are lately active to develop the organization as a broad and national political force.
The leaders are in the recent days holding dialogues with various social groups and individuals so that it will not be construed just as an ethnic or regional organization.
Amid long-festering differences with party establishment, a group of leaders from Madhesi, ethnic and indigenous communities from CPN-UML and various other major political parties have announced in public that they are going to form an alternative political party.
While party Vice-Chairman Ashok Rai is leading the dissident group in the UML, several leaders from other major political parties have also expressed their serious differences with their party leaderships over federalism.
The dissidents have been pressuring their respective parties to name and delineate provinces based on single ethnic identity but leaderships of parties including Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML have vehemently opposed the idea.
Of them, the disgruntled leaders from CPN-UML have been actively involved in forming the new party and they are holding talks with dissidents from NC, Maoist parties and other political parties.
"Dialogues have been taking place at institutional as well as individual levels and they are at bilateral, multilateral and personal levels," said CPN-UML Central Committee member Ajambar Kangmang Rai. Stating that the talks are at the preliminary stages, he informed that with some groups and political forces they have just exchanged their documents and are trying to find common grounds among the like-minded groups and individuals.
UML Vice-Chairman Ashok Rai held a meeting with Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (MPRF) Chairman Upendra Yadav earlier this week. Rai said they just discussed the possibility of working together on the issues that they have a common stance on, such as federalism.
Yadav approached Rai and proposed to work together. "I told him that it is too early to talk over the proposal because we have so far not detached ourselves from the UML. We may work together with the forces such as MPRF if we form a new party in future," said Rai immediately after the talks.
A leader actively in the movement said they are holding talks with a number of former lawmakers and central committee members from NC, both the Maoist parties and other political groups such as Sanghiya Limbuwan Rajyaparishad led by Kumar Lingden.
Leaders associated with the proposed Social Democratic Pluri-National Party, which had unveiled its name and manifesto in August, are also closely working in the process of forming new party.
Though the name and manifesto of new party was made public in August, they are yet to complete the task of forming the new organization. "Therefore, both the groups are most likely to come together while announcing the new party," said a leader closely involved in the movement.
Dr Chaityanna Subba, Dr Krishna Bhattachan and Pasang Sherpa, among others, had worked while announcing the Social Democratic Pluri-National Party.
Bhattachan said that they are holding dialogues with leaders of the proposed Federal Socialist Party among other various groups.
They are also planning to include various social organizations working against all kinds of exclusion.
"It may be any institution from Madhesi or dalit communities or any organization from Karnali working against regional discrimination," said Kangmang, who is working to form Federal Socialist Party.
While they are holding talks with some ethnic groups such as Sanghiya Limbuwan Rajyaparishad led by Lingden in the east, they are also in talks with some leaders who are lobbying for delineating a Khashan province based on Khas [Bahun-Chhetri] identity in the farwestern region.
Kangmang said former lawmakers and central committee members from Khas community associated with various political parties are in close dialogue with them.