Kathmandu, Dec 6: The Nagarik Unmukti Party has secured its berth in the federal parliament this time by winning three seats in the House of Representatives (HoR) during the recent elections to the member of the House of Representatives and Province Assembly (PA). The party with Resham Chaudhary as its patron emerged victorious in eight Province Assembly electoral constituencies.
Despite this achievement, so far the party is unlikely to exceed the threshold towards proportional representation (PR) and find a ground to get the recognition of a national party.
According to the Election Commission, the party has received 271,696 votes under the PR category so far. Resham Chaudhary's wife and party chairperson Ranju Shrestha has won the HoR seat from Kailali constituency-1 by receiving 30,404 votes.
Similarly, party candidate Arun Chaudhary was elected to the HoR polls from Kailali constituency 2. He received 21,871 votes.
Similarly, Krishna Kumar Chaudhary of the party has secured his place in HoR by garnering 23,120.
In addition, Resham Chaudhary's father, Lalbir Chaudhary, won the election from Bardiya-2 as an independent candidate. He finished the race with 26,520 votes and had the party’s support in the election.
Resham Chaudhary is spending time in jail on the charge of his involvement in Tikapur incident that took place on August 24, 2015. With the announcements of election results, the party has been the topic of discussion in the context of the formation of new government.
RSS had a tete-a-tete with the Janamat Party chairperson in the context of its possible position in the post-election government.
The following are the excerpts from the interview:
How do you assess the recent elections to the Member of the House of Representatives and the Province Assembly?
-Election is the means of testing people’s mandate and the party has taken it accordingly. The results indicate that voters are frustrated with old parties and have some attraction to the new ones. They aspire to see a change ahead.
How does the party, as a first-time contender in the elections, review the poll results?
-We are now clear that the party's ideology and agenda have already been endorsed by the people. The party has the people’s support since the previous election. There is a demand for justice to the party since 2074 BS. The court has already freed us from the charges labelled against us by the State, but the State is yet to address the matter. As far as the election results are concerned, we will be getting 12 seats in the federal parliament and the PA in a short time. The party lost the elections in five constituencies by less than 200 votes and in nine constituencies by less than a thousand. By the May 13 local-level elections, around 100 local representatives are elected from the party.
How do you evaluate the ballots given for the party in the elections?
-The Tikapur incident is of a political nature. But still, our friends continue to suffer in the confinement. Many face cases. This time we realised that our voters are from three different sections: one who is hurt by the Tikapur incident, the second who believes that the party deserves justice and the third community expects a change.
How do you perceive post-election public reactions about the party’s presence?
-I am keeping myself updated about the opinions of old parties and leaders in regard to the party. They keep saying we will not sustain and have no political vision and mission. But we request all to first look through the party’s election manifesto before being judgmental of the party.
What's the understanding of Madhesh-centric parties and your former colleagues?
-I don’t have much to say about them. I had told them to take to the street as delivering speeches in mike would not help much. They only talked to garner sympathy. It is very saddening to me.
People, there have already expressed their grievances against them through mandate. Another thing, Chandrakanta Raut (popularly known as CK Raut) joining mainstream politics is a welcome development. His party Janamat Party has emerged as an alternative force in Madhesh. The rest remains to be seen.
The final result of the election continues to come. Discussions on forming a government are also underway. Have you had a discussion in regard to it with anyone in the meantime?
- I have been doing times in jail for eight years now. Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Centre) have always been in government. The Madhesh-centric parties' leaders are also in the government in one form or other. There's nothing left to see from them. Although there's talk, there's no point until there is a result.
What's your role in the formation of government?
-We are positive about all. Until our agendas are not addressed, we will not consider any alternative which is crystal clear.
We ought to be freed from the way how I and my friends were imprisoned and how dealt with the case.
Then, what's your major demand?
-Our demands are the same. We have been repeatedly mentioning it.
Tikapur is a political incident and it should be dealt with accordingly. But nothing has been done so far accordingly.
We consider collaboration with those who pledge to address our demand. The demand is setting us free and arrangement of respectable compensation. (RSS)