The second constituent assembly election was in every sense a referendum primarily to settle controversies over ethnicity related problems that had impeded the finalization of provincial boundaries and other issues in our new constitution. The ethnicity related proposals put forward by the UCPN Maoist and Madhese parties were widely discussed until the date fixed to hold the second assembly election, and finally they were overwhelmingly voted out.
It is quite strange why concerned authorities and also intelligentsia don’t explain above facts in media to general public and international community. Absence of any reference to the verdict of a vast majority of Nepalese people that has served as guideline in formulation of recently promulgated new constitution might have thrown into great confusion many international communities including our close neighboring countries.
The present unrest in Terai has been stirred up by few Terai based political parties aiming at reviving their old ethnicity and race based agenda. These political parties want that the recently promulgated constitution must be completely overhauled to accommodate fully their demand. The results of the second constituent assembly election has already clearly shown that the Nepalese people including those living in Terai are not yet prepared to entertain the ethnicity and race based agenda of Terai based political parties. Despite such lack of public support for the Terai based political parties, major political parties agree that the newly promulgated constitution must be amended to accommodate some genuine concerns of the Terai people.
Declared Agenda of UCPN Maoist and Terai Based Parties
The UCPN Maoist party along with Terai and few Hill based political parties according to their declared agenda had wanted to promulgate the new constitution dividing Terai in to two provinces and the rest of country into several provinces on ethnicity and race basis.
The idea of two Terai provinces had been approved by then interim government. Paradoxically the interim government had also approved division of Terai into four provinces whereby most of the Terai would be exclusively in two Terai provinces, which would be totally detached from the adjoining hill regions, whereas the remaining two separate areas would be linked to adjoining hill regions.
First Constituent Assembly
The UCPN Maoist and Terai based political parties strongly committed to introduce ethnicity based constitution failed to muster enough support to adopt ethnicity and race based new constitution even though the life of the assembly was significantly prolonged in the expectation of reaching a consensus among all political parties. In the life of the first constituent assemble four coalition governments were formed. The last government, like the first one, was led by the UCPN Maoist party.
Dissolution of Assembly
Then Prime-minister Dr. B.R. Bhattarai, who had led the last coalition government of the UCPN Maoist, Madhesi and other political parties dissolved the assembly to hold second assembly election announcing to seek overwhelming fresh mandate needed to adopt the agenda of the UCPN Maoist and Terai based parties. The election was truly going to be a referendum on their ethnicity and race based agenda. To great surprise of many the outcome of the second assembly election was virtually a massacre of the UCPN Maoist and its allied parties for their ethnicity and race based agenda.
Referendum on Ethnicity Based Agenda
The second constituent assembly election was in reality a referendum on ethnicity and race issues. The UCPN Maoist and Madhese parties committed to introduce their ethnicity and race based agenda were completely defeated in the election. The UCPN Maoist party, which had the largest number of seats in the last assembly was squeezed to third position far behind the parties occupying first and second position in term of their number of seats in newly elected assembly. Madhese parties, which are entirely based in Terai, suffered the most humiliating defeat. Their strength in the newly elected assembly was sharply reduced to few seats. Even the hill regional parties advocating ethnicity based agenda equally suffered humiliating defeat.
The political parties opposing ethnicity based agenda won by a landslide. They won more than two third seats in the assembly. Thus the ethnicity based agenda was completely rejected by the people..
Nepalese people including those living in Terai had overwhelmingly voted in the second constituent assembly election. The second constituent assembly election was truly a referendum on ethnicity and race based agenda.
Accepting the verdict of the people the UCPN Maoist party for the time being dropped its race and ethnicity based agenda. Unfortunately, this issue is again being raised by some Terai based parties.