4-10 October 2013 #676

Price tag

Bipendra Karki, Karobar, 29 September

With the nomination date inching closer, businessmen have started competing for PR seats and political parties are negotiating with interested individuals for donations ranging from Rs 10-50 million. Madheshi Janadhikar Forum, Forum Loktantrik, and Tarai-Madhes Loktantrik have openly offered seats to those willing to donate a minimum of Rs 10 million. Other major parties including the UCPN (Maoist), NC, and UML are also in negotiations with business houses for contributionsof up to Rs 50 million.

Rajendra Khetan and Padma Jyoti, parliamentarians in the first Constituent Assembly, have decided to stay away from the CA this time round. “There is no point becoming a part of the CA when all the decisions are made by the four parties,” says Khetan who was nominated by the Nepal Communist Party-ML in 2008.

Many in the business community feel that the exorbitant amounts demanded by the parties and the subsequent negotiations are unhealthy. “The private sector shouldn’t merely be used as cadre and donors for parties whenever they need money,” says Manoj Kedia, vice-president of Confederation of Nepalese Industries.