By Our Reporter
At a time when Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and his deputy and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi, who is believed to be the main architect behind the formation of the government, have been reiterating that the government will be holding local polls by April this year, Local Development Minister Hit Raj Pande on Monday said that there was no possibility of holding local polls in April.
Obviously, the poalls cannot be held in absence of required laws. The Election Commission needs at least 120 days to prepare for holding elections, and the government has failed to endorse elections laws even in the first week of January. Moreover, the government has not yet endorsed the report submitted by the Local Body Restructuring Commission last week, and the ruling parties are still divided whether the local polls should be held in the old structures or the new structures. The Madhes-based parties have outright rejected the polls before the passing of the constitution amendment bill registered in the parliament.
Prime Minister Dahal who has been trying to woo the Madhes-based parties for the local polls has assured them of endorsing the amendment bill which looks impossible until the UML and other opposition parties maintain unity against the bill.
PM Dahal is even ready to give lucrative portfolios, including the posts of deputy prime ministers to RPP and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Loktantrik in a bid to get support of Kamal Thapa and BijayGachhadar to endorse the bill. However, despite receiving support from Thapa and Gachhadar, there will be no guarantee that the bill will be endorsed as a few MPs from ruling Nepali Congress and Maoist Centre may not cast their vote in favour of the bills. Chandra Bhandari of NC and Top Bahadur Rayamajhi of Maoist Centre are strongly opposing the bill.
Deuba, who has earned notoriety for promoting horse trading, and Dahal may also plan to buy some MPs by paying them hefty amount of money. Still there is no guarantee that the bill will get through.
And when the bill fails to get a two-thirds majority, it will fail. In such case, the Madhes-based parties will not be ready to go for polls. Instead they will apply every measure to prevent the government from holding elections and if three tier elections are not held in next 13 months, the constitution will become dysfunctional. Signs of the ongoing political conflict cannot be good for the constitution.