Election cannot be stopped by hiring Indians: Upendra Yadav

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Chairman of the Federal Socialist Forum Upendra Yadav is in Madhes to campaign for the second round of election scheduled for June 28. Our correspondent Sanjib Bagale talked with Yadav, who is in Biratnagar now, about the current political developments over the phone. Excerpts:-

What is the election environment in tarai?

The people are very eager and enthusiastic for elected representatives in municipalities and rural municipalities after a gap of 20 years, and they are waiting with much hope and expectation.

I have visited the plains from Mechi in the east to Mahakali in the west. People in all those places want election. Local democracy is for people, and municipalities and rural municipalities are the local democratic institutions. I have found immense enthusiasm in people for that.  

Did you face obstruction at some places?

They had tried to obstruct but the people thrashed and chased them away. This shows how enthusiastic the people are. I held a program at the strongest bastion of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP) in Sarlahi. They had made efforts to prevent us from organizing an assembly there and even stop our entry there. They had called people not just from the surrounding areas but even India. But the locals there beat and chased them across the border. The assembly was completed in a grand manner.

Do you mean to say people were brought even from Indian to obstruct you?

They had even hired people for that day. But they fled. The people chased those who had tried to disrupt the program. It was held near the border. That they fled across the border means they live there. Rajendra Mahato has a house on the Indian side of the border. He is from a place called Koharba in India. He became Nepali much later. He had lied to get the citizenship certificate.

People had come even from Koharba. But all the hired persons fled when the Nepali Madhesis raised their sticks and the assembly was a big one. Such a large number of people entered our party. What does that show? It shows the people want election.  

Can nobody stop you in tarai/Madhes?

How can we be stopped when we have the people (behind us)? Who can stop the people? The people are invincible.

Can other parties also go and hold programs in tarai/Madhes?

They all have held programs. All the aspiring candidates are visiting the villages. They all want to become candidates. Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) have been holding programs, even RPP is organizing them. There is anticipation. It is another thing that they have not held big mass assemblies. There is festive mood everywhere in tarai/Madhes. A few cadres of a few parties are in an illusion.

The problem with RJP is an internal one. Lack of registration of party, election symbol, unanimity on the issue of old election symbol, and acceptance of anyone by everyone are the problems of RJP.

Someone else joined their heads but the spirit and ideologies cannot be joined. The six of them turn to six sides. Outsiders have designed mathematics by adding the six parties but the chemistry has yet to work. They are facing problems for election due to internal conflict. But that is due to their internal reasons. It is not due to the people who want election.

There are talks about postponing election in province 2 and 5? Will the people accept that?

The people want election. I don’t know what others and the government will do. The country is being destroyed due to the bad government policies. Election date has been postponed repeatedly. The election has been split into two rounds for RJP. They say we will participate, change the date now. Why don’t they participate after saying they will? Why are they putting the country in a difficult position? Postponing election is not a solution of the problem.     

The government is also to blame on the other hand. We have been repeatedly telling the government to resolve the issue of constitution amendment. The government tried but could not. We have been repeatedly telling the government to release political prisoners. But the government is turning a deaf ear to that. This is the root of the problem. The people are suffering due to the wrong policies of government.  

Have you made any efforts to bring RJP into the election?

I have met all the RJP leaders. They have all said they will participate in election. They first said they can’t do anything when they don’t have election symbol. But the act has been amended now to provide them election symbol. But they have not been able to take decision even after environment has been created to provide them election symbol. They have not been able to take decision as per their commitment. This is due to their internal conflict.

What are your plans for electoral alliance?

We have delegated all the authorities for that to the local committees. Our colleagues at the local level will decide whether to forge an alliance or contest all alone.