Dalits demand respectable proportional representation in upcoming elections – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper

KATHMANDU, APRIL 17

Rastriya Dalit Mukti Jagaran Abhiyan Nepal, a socio-political organization representing all Dalits in the country, has called on key leaders of major political parties and the head of Nepal’s Election Commission, Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, to ensure respectable and proportional representation in the next local elections scheduled for May. 13.

Dalits make up 20% of the country’s total population. By submitting the memorandum to the main political parties and the EC, the Dalit activists demanded that the authorities respect the constitutional provision of proportionate inclusion.

They called on the authorities concerned to ensure 13% of the total representation of the local leaders of the Dalit community.

In accordance with the memorandum, RDMJAN representatives demanded that Dalits be guaranteed a reservation quota of 13%, but in a respectable manner.

They also accused the political leaders of not allowing Dalits to compete for higher positions but of forcing them to settle for minor positions in the elections. “We demand a reserve of 13% among all executive positions such as mayor, deputy mayor, municipal president, municipal vice president and ward presidents, in accordance with the spirit of the constitution,” the first memorandum letter reads.

The Dalit activists forwarded a total of six demands, including giving priority to female Dalit women representatives in the upcoming elections who had won the 2015 elections. Likewise, they demanded that the families of people who were martyred in various social and political revolutions are given priority for local elected officials, local leadership positions involved in caste-based discrimination are removed, among others.

“The struggle of Dalits for change and democracy in the country has a history of over 75 years. However, even during this long period, caste-based discrimination is rampant in the country,” the memo reads. He called on political parties and leaders to take responsibility for ending caste-based discrimination, ending the marginalization of the Dalit community and uplifting the community through the reservations.

Dalits are the only backward community residing in all seven provinces, 753 local governments and 6,743 wards across the country. The population density of Dalits in Province 1 is 10.1%, 17.2% in Madhes, 6% in Bagmati, 17.4% in Gandaki, 15.1% in Lumbini, 23.3% in Karnali and 17.1% in Sudurpaschim.

A version of this article appears in the April 18, 2022 printing of The Himalayan Times.


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