Jan 22, 2017- The Madhes-based parties and the Naya Shakti Nepal, which last week agreed to jointly press the government to pass the constitution amendment bill with revisions, have begun discussion to identity agendas of shared interest to forge a long-term alliance.
Leaders from the two sides said a new alliance would be announced once the common agendas are identified. “We are exploring common agendas and shared interests. There is a strong prospect of both long-term and short-term alliances since the two sides have similar positions on a number of issues,” Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Vice-chairman Hridayesh Tripathi told the Post.
“For now, we will collectively push our demands for constitution amendment with revision. But discussion is also going on for forging a lasting alliance guided by agendas.”
Last Thursday, leaders from the two sides agreed on the need to revise the amendment bill before endorsing it in Parliament.
Interlocutors from the Madhesi Morcha said the talks on the specifics of the alliance would take place once the areas of shared interest are identified.
“There has been an informal agreement with the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal to work together. Other parties are gradually showing interests in a long-term partnership,” said a Naya Shakti leader. The Naya Shakti is also in merger talks with the SSFN, which on Saturday decided to remain open to unification with all like-minded forces.
Though both sides look close on issues, the foundation of the proposed alliance is far from solid. It is also unclear whether there will be shared leadership like in the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, the bloc of seven Madhes-based parties, or single leadership as in the Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Janajati and Madhesi parties.
Meanwhile, some fringe Janajati forces have expressed reservations over the Madhesi parties’ preparation to back the amendment bill in the existing form. Om Gurung and other Janajati leaders have warned allies in the Gathabandhan of walking away if the bill was supported.
“We are neither softening our position on revision, nor are they [Janajati parties] walking away from the alliance,” said SSFN Co-chair Rajendra Shrestha. On Saturday, an internal meeting of the Forum agreed not to accept the bill without