Nepal Allows Indians to Contest Local Body Polls

Indian nationals will be allowed to contest local body elections in Nepal for the time in May this year. People residing in border areas of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which is also known as the Tarai region, will be allowed to contest local body polls.

After seven months long agitation in Nepal, authorities have decided to amend the constitution and allow people living in this region, where marriages across the border are a common practice, to contest local body elections in Nepal. The amendment will also allow them to contest parliament elections on a proportionate basis.

The demands made by Madhesis, the local tribe, who live on both sides of the border led to multiple protests and road blockades in the past. The proposed constitution amendment will have to be made before May 14, when Nepal will have local body elections after nearly two decades.

source

After the cabinet decision on the issue, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led coalition government discussed it with the Election Commission of Nepal. Soon, an agreement was reached with the Madhesis.

The decision to give permission to Indian nationals to contest local body elections was taken last Sunday after Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari returned from her five-day India visit. Among other leaders, she met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss bilateral issues.
This decision by Nepal will be a boon for almost 25% of the population living in border areas. A big region of Bihar, known as Mithila, is spread along the Indo-Nepal border. This region has influenced culture and traditions of Nepal to a great extent. The areas of Uttar Pradesh close to Nepal border include the hometown of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Gorakhpur, and Bahraich.
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