The people have stopped counting the number of times the Madhesi parties have split. Nor do they remember of the exact number of the parties claiming to fight for the Madhesh or Terai cause.
The popular apathy has hardly had impact on the parties, though. In a latest incident, the Sadvabana Party led by former minister Rajendra Mahato has split into two, with dissident leader Anil Kumar Jha announcing a separate outfit after he had been expelled by the ‘mother’ party.
There have been countless parties under the original name ‘Sadvabana’. One more has been added now, although Mahato is challenging the legitimacy of the Jha ‘revolt’.
Earlier, the surprise fourth largest party in the constituent assembly after the elections three years ago, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, broke into pieces.
The once 54-member party in the CA has now been reduced a 12-member outfit. The rest broke away to form many splinter groups with only two represented in the CA.
The fifth-largest party, Terai Madhesi Loktantrik Party, has witnessed a similar split.
The end result of the splits has been a virtual end to the aspirations of the Madhesi people who had long been complaining of discrimination against them and the denial of some of the rights their other Nepalese brethren enjoyed.
With the regional parties losing their grounds and credibility in the Terai heartlands, the mainstream parties should have seized the opportunity to regain the lost grounds.
None of the three – the Nepali Congress, the UML and the Maoists – have done anything to this effect, deeply engaged as they are in factional fights within the party.
The result: there has been a big vacuum. Who will emerge to fill it and how will be a key question in times to come.
As of now, the Madhesh or Terai faces an uncertain political patronage that it badly needs to pull itself out of what it sees as decades of predicament. The result: there has been a big vacuum. Who will emerge to fill it and how will be a key question in times to come.
As of now, the Madhesh or Terai faces an uncertain political patronage that it badly needs to pull itself out of what it sees as decades of predicament.