Experts doubt long term unification of Madhesi parties
KATHMANDU, Oct 8: Though analysts closely watching Madhesi politics term the initiatives taken by Madhes-based political parties on unification as a positive development, they expressed doubt that the process would be an easy task.
Talking to Republica, they said that the talks on unification among Madhesi parties seemed to be election oriented rather than issues based.
"It [unification among Madhesi parties] is a very difficult task because of the matters regarding leadership, organization and issues," said Madhesi intellectual Bijaya Kant Karna, who is also former ambassador to Denmark, adding, "They have not begun any constructive talks on issues related to Dalits, Muslims, indigenous peoples and other backward class."
He maintained that Madhesi parties have taken initiatives on unification with a view on future election results. "They know very well that their position will be worse than the present if they take part in polls with fragmentation," Karna said.
"A unification among Madhesi parties will be strategic one and will be over after achieving a particular objective," said political analyst Tula Narayan Sah.
Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (MPRF), MPRF-Democratic and Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) have already formed separate teams to hold talk on unification.
MPRF and TMDP have held several rounds of talks on unification, while leaders of Sadbhawana Party, MPRF-Republican and National Madhes Socialist Party (NMSP) have also held preliminary talks on possible unification. TMDP have also held talks with MPRF-D led by Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar.
"If MPRF Chairman Upendra Yadav accepted TMDP Chairman Mahantha Thakur as the supreme leader of the unified party, will Hridayash Tripathi stay under leadership of Yadav?" Karna questioned.
General Secretary of MPRF-R Atmaram Sah also expresses doubt over unification. "The Madhesi leadership needs to put forth common issues before holding talks on possible unification," he added.
He also stressed on the need to review the reasons behind frequent split in Madhesi parties. "We should seriously review the causes of frequent split in Madhesi parties," Sah stated.
Since the 2008 Constituent Assembly (CA) election, there has not been a single Madhesi party that has not undergone split.
A senior Madhesi leader said on the condition of anonymity that despite their knowledge that unification among Madhesi parties is not possible, they formed team to hold talks on the issue.
"It does not cost anything to make an attempt at unification," said the leader, adding, "Though Madhesi people want to see a unified Madhesi party in Tarai, it is not a possible as some leaders don´t want to make this happen because of their own interests."
At a time TMDP leadership is busy holding talks with MPRF, some leaders including Vice-chairman Tripathi have expressed dissatisfaction over the move as they want unification with MPRF-D rather than MPRF.