No referendum (Editorial)


The agreement signed by the government of with CK Raut’s Alliance for Independent Madhes has brought an abrupt shift in the alignment of forces in the Madhesh. As the political forces in the Madhesh try to find their foothold after being knocked off their pedestal by a sudden presence of CK Raut on the ramp of national politics in a completely new avatar, political analysts are trying to unravel the enigma surrounding the new turn in the dynamics of the Nepali politics.

In fact, the 11-point agreement has generated positive vibes in the national politics as it seeks to broaden the scope of peaceful politics and legitimacy of the constitution. The vital deal was the outcome of relentless efforts of the government that is striving to achieve stability, peace and prosperity. Equipped with two-thirds backing in the federal parliament, the government is committed to end the residues of conflict that remain in the form of various armed and secessionist activities of outlawed groups.

As the political debate on whether the agreement has helped innervate the growing activism of Raut’s outfit aimed at subverting sovereignty and independence status of the country razes, scepticism is also growing about the honesty of the CK Raut’s faction to renounce the path of armed rebellion to pursue the course of peaceful solution of the dissatisfaction that runs deep in the Madhesh. The government has tried to assure the public that the CK Raut faction has agreed to relinquish the path of violence and has agreed to move ahead along the peaceful way of election as prescribed by the constitution.

Some people are falsely interpreting the term ‘janaabhimat’ (people’s mandate) as synonymous with janamat sangraha (referendum). It is true that the people express their opinion on the national issues through a referendum but the two phrases are not the same. The word ‘Janaabhimat’ refers to the periodic elections held to pick the people’s representatives. A referendum is held only in special circumstances. Referendum is not held if it undermines the national sovereignty and territorial integrity. So it is beyond imagination that the government had accepted ‘referendum’ to decide the issues raised by Raut’s faction.

There is no need to be confused regarding the intention of the government and meaning of the deal. It is the duty of all responsible to play from their respective sides to create atmosphere conducive to the implementation of the agreement.

The agreement is the only way out for CK Raut for escaping a fate of being a convenient tool for aristocratic Madhesh based parties who are eager to perpetuate his existence as a genie in the box. Regrettably, CK Raut does not appear aware of their game plan. The view, which he is echoing around do not suggest that he is on the lookout for a peaceful landing of the secessionist movement that is shouldering in the Madhesh.

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