At a time many influential leaders of the party have deserted the party for joining another party or forming a new party, CPN-UML has received another way to console itself. The Communist Party of Nepal Marxist-Leninist (Samajbadi) led by Yadubansha Jha has merge d with the CPN (UML).
Jha and other party members entered the UML in a function organised in Janakpur on Sunday. The UML leaders, including Madhav Kumar Nepal and Ishwar Pokharel, were present to welcome the party entrants.
After announcing the union between the two parties, Jha assured that the Samajbadi members in other parts of the country will join the UML as per their convenience in the coming days.
A former UML district committee member, Jha had defected the party to join CP Mainali-led CPN (Marxist-Leninist). He later left the Mainali camp and went on to form own political party. Jha had served as a minister of cabinet that was headed by Baburam Bhattarai of the UCPN (Maoist).
Meanwhile, the Madhesi parties are expanding their base in hill districts. Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhavana party is leading the race with 44 district chapters in the hills. Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal has expanded its chapters in 15 hill districts. Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic has its chapters in 20 hill districts, and Tarai Madhes Democratic party has expanded its base in seven districts of the hills.
It seems these parties are eying hill districts mainly to increase their share of proportional representation votes and shed the tag of regional parties.
One Madhesi leader said if Madhesi parties focus too much on the hills, they will neither gain votes in the hills nor retain votes in the Tarai, their own region.
Madhesi forces want to reach out to the hills because they believe indigenous nationalities, Dalits and other marginalised groups which are disenchanted with major national parties will vote for them.
Gaining votes in the hills will be difficult for Madhesi parties because ethnic parties of the hills will compete with them. Then there are other national parties that consider the hills as their vote bank.
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