This paper comparatively analyzes how the government owned main stream media and private owned main stream media approached and reported the Madhesha Movement 2007. The conclusions of the paper are (i) government media reports events along the line of the ruling government and, (ii) private media are quick to understand the popular sentiment and report events that is sellable and liked my most of the public.
Terai is one of the four geo-ecological zones lying in the southern part of Nepal. It is a plains region that occupies about 23 percent of the land but over 50.27 percent of the population lives here (CBS, 2012). Among the Nepalese living in Terai 64.22 percent are the Terai’s original inhabitants while 35.78 are hill migrants, also called Pahadhis (Rimal, 2009, p. 13). The Madheshis claim that the Terai’s upper caste, Terai Dalits, Tharus and Terai Mushlims are all Madheshis (Mathema, 2011, p.2). However, Tharus, some Terai Dalits and Terai Mushlims claim that they are not Madheshis; the undisputed Madheshis are the Terai caste group and Dalit who make up 37.89 percent of the Terai’s population (ibid.).
Despite of their significant presence in Terai, Madheshi community have long been marginalized by the state when it comes to issues like citizenship, employment opportunities, political participation, social recognition, etc. According to Cheah (2008), Madheshis have been treated unfairly and denied rights as citizens of Nepal throughout the history of Nepal. Mathema (2011) explains that the missing history of Terai has also contributed to marginalization of Madheshis because most of the people in Nepal think that the Madheshis are either Indians who migrated to Nepal or they are descendents of Indian migrants sent to Nepal to strengthen the cultural domination of India (p.44). The Dhoti-Kurtha, the traditional dress of Madheshis, never being reconginzed as a proper formal dress for a Nepali even by the post-1990 democratic government is the symbol of the unexceptance of their culture by the state (p.50). Despite the Jana Andolan in 1990, aristocracy continued to control national politics and state affairs; governments of Nepal failed to ensure power-sharing and an equal distribution of resources among Madheshis, Janajatis, women, dalits and other indigenous nationalities living in the Terai (Cheah, 2008). High castes of hill communities continued to dominate the highest appointments in civil service and government offices (ibid.). Similarly, Nepali language being official language and the the sole language to be used as medium of instruction in education throughout Nepal has hampered many Madheshis to pass exams and thus made them not eligible to fight for the government jobs (p.52). This is how state seem to have intentionally marginalized Madhesha from main stream politics and development as well.
But the Madheshi movement of 2007 which took place after the overthrow of monarchy and the restoration of democracy shook the Nepali state. The government employed security forces to try to control the situation and stop the uprising but they proved ineffective. Within a week the protests developed into a mass movement, the ferocity of which was such that it forced the government to amned the interim constitution to accommodate the demands of the agitating Madheshis.
Madheshi Movement: Historical Overview
After Ranas were overthrown in 1951, Nepal became a democratic country with a ceremonial monarchy. However, according to Gaige (1975), some Terai elites who helped the political parties to overthrow the Ranas felt excluded from national politics and formed a Terai-centered regionalist political party in 1951, collecting elites of Terai in the name of Nepal Terai Congress (NTC), whose main political demand was to create an autonomous Terai within Nepal and to increase the presence of Madheshis in the civil service (as qtd in Mathema, 2011, p. 5). But the failure of NTC to win any seat in the election of 1959 was a major blow to the party causing to it’s gradually disintegration (p.6).
Kulananda Jha and Baldeva Das of the NTC are the ones who established Madhesha issues in the main stream of Nepalese politics (Yadav, 2008, p. 76). Gajendra Narayan Singh of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (NSP) is also one of the prominent Madheshi activists who built on the Madhesh issues established by NTC (Mathema, 2011, p. 7). During the Panchayat era (1960-1990) when it was illegal to register a political party, Gajendra Narayan Singh formed a cultural organization in the name of Nepal Sadhavawana Parisad that campaigned for greater cultural rights for Madheshis (ibid.). However, in the parliamentary election, followed by the restoration of democracy in 1990, NSP did not get much support from the Madheshi community for whom they claimed they were fighting; the party could only won six, three and five seats in the elections of 1991, 1994 and 1999 respectively (ibid.).
Maoist Movement and Madhesha
Till 1999, NSP was the only political party in Nepal that claimed to be fighting for the Madhesha issues. But in the year 2000, the Maoists established various central-level ethnic fronts including the Madheshi Rashtriya Mukti Morcha (MRMM) (Mathema, 2011, p. 8). MRMM was described as a wing based on Madhesha and had promised for federal state in Madhesh, rights of self determination and many other assurances during their revolution against the monarchy and the state (Shah, n.d.). Establishment of MRMM end the monopoly of RSP on Madhesha issues and it was also the era that saw the formation of various regional political parties based on Madhesha. After establishment MRMM, various political parties, both armed and unarmed, came into the scene of Madheshi politics because success of MRMM showed the possibility of ethnic identity issues to be the centre of Nepalese politics. A section of the MRMM broke away and formed an underground armed political party Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) led by Goit which further split to form another JTMM led by Jwala Singh (Mathema, 2011).
Madhesha Movement 2007
Following the Jana Andolan II which carried promises of democratic reforms from the Nepali state, the Madhesha based political parties and organizations demanded for proportionate representation of Madheshi community in the governmental bodies. To start with the proportionate representation, they wanted change in existing constituencies and voting system in the to-be-held Constitution Assembly election. But, failure of state to incorporate demands of Madhesha based political parties and organizations in the interim constitution of Nepal agitated Madhesha, finally developing into Madhesha Movement 2007.
Madhesha movement of 2007 can broadly be divided into three phases. The first phase of Madhesha movement was led by Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Aanandi Devi). The time before the promulgation of the interim constitution characterize the period. The second phase of the movement was lead by Madheshi Jana-Adhikar Forum (MJF), a Madheshi activist organization. The time period between a day after the promulgation of interim constitution to the first amendment of the constitution characterize the period. The third phase of movement by led by United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) from February 13, 2008 to February 28, 2008.
The first phase of the Madhesha movement started on 10 December 25, 2006 with the calling of Nepal Bandha by Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Aanandi Devi) to protest against the provision of 205 constituencies in the interim constitution which the party opposed (Sapkota & Singh, 2008). The party had demanded to increase the number of constituency in Terai based on the population along with the formation of constituency incorporating similar geography and culture; and the demand for written provision, in interim constitution, for proportionate representation of Madheshi in governmental bodies was also there (ibid.). Nepaljung riot of December 10 and 11 is the major episode in the first phase of the Madhesha movement which escalated and brought in the surface - the internal tension that existed between Madheshi and Pahadhis, in the region. In the riot, Madheshi chanted anti Pahadhis slongs and disturbed the business of Pahadhis there and Pahadhis did the same for Madheshi whenever and wherever possible (ibid.).
The second phase of the Madhesha movement started with the arrest of MJF leaders on January 16, 2007 following their act of burning copies of a day old interim constitution (Mathema, 2011, 25). Then, the activists of MJF in the Terai who demanded their leaders be released called for a general strike throughout the Terai leading to Lahan incident which killed 16-year-old Ramesh Kumar Mahato by a Maoist cadre named Siyaram Thakur (Yadav, 2008). After the incident violent riots broke out in Lahan spreading as far as Malangwa, Birjung, Biratnagar and many other parts of Madhesha (Cheah, 2008). According to ICG (2007), Mahato’s killing was the spark for prolonged agitation. Madheshi activists called for a general strike in the Terai and organised widespread protests; the government responded with curfews and an increased police presence (Cheah, 2008). Though figures are often disputed to be under-reported, some 19 Madheshis were killed and another 500 wounded in incidents leading up to the February 2, 2007 (ibid.). The second phase of Madhesha Movement and arguably the most vital phase of the movement ended with the second televised address of the Prime Minister in the name of nation where the Prime Minister glorified the contribution the Madheshi communities had made to Nepal and expressed his regret over the loss of lives during the protest (Mathema, 2011, p.32).
The third phase of the Madhesh Movement started in February 13, 2008 and lasted 16 days. The achievement of this general strike was the eight-point agreement between the government of Nepal and the UDMF; the eight-point agreement was not very different from the 22-point agreement between the government of Nepal and MJF (Mathema, 2011, p.37).
Although various research articles and book has been published to describe and analyze the movement sociologically and politically, no study has been done till now to describe how the main stream media on Nepal approached and reported the movement. This study will fill the same gap by studying how actually the main stream media of Nepal reported the movement.
The study will comparatively analyze, using content analysis, how the government owned main stream media and private owned main stream media approached and reported the movement. Therefore, this study will be both – qualitative and quantitative. Further, inductive reasoning technique has been employed for the analysis and interpretation. For the study, editorials of broadsheet dailies, Kantipur (KP) and Gorkhapatra (GP), published in between 17 January, 2006 – 17 March, 2006 have been taken as the study corpus. Only those editorials which have mentioned about Madhesha Movement have come under the study.
The selection of editorial among various news teams that are published in newspapers is because editorial is widely accepted as the section where the newspapers are expected to voice their opinion on the issues of national importance and interest. While, the selection of KP and GP is purposive and is expected to be representative of private owned media and government owned media respectively.
Coverage of Madhesha Movement
In the span of three months, both KP and GP published 38 editorials that were related to Madhesha movement. Out of the total published editorials, 21 (55%) was published in GP while the remaining 17 (45%) was published in KP. On an average, KP published 6 editorials per month relating to the Movement while the average number of editorials published per month is 7 for the GP. If the last month of the study period, when no editorials was published, is taken out of the equation than the average editorials published by KP and GP during the Madhesha Movement rises to 9 and 11/month respectively.
Though GP has published more editorials on Madhesha Movement as compared to KP, it was KP which for the first time published its view on the Madhesha Movement. KP published its first editorial about the movement following the general strike called by NSP (A) in 26 December, 2006 while GP published its first editorial two days later, only after the Nepalgunj riot.
Coverage of Madhesha Movement by Month
As like the intensity of Madhesha Movement, the coverage about the movement was maximum in the time period between 17 January - 17 February. This was second phase of Madhesha Movement when the movement was at its peak. In this period of one month, 11 (65%) and 17 (81%) editorials have been published in KP and GP respectively. In total, 28 (76%) editorials were published in the period. Similarly, KP has published 6 (35%) editorials in the period between 17 December -17 January but the editorial count for GP is 4 (19%) in the same period. This was the period of first phase of Madhesha Movement when Madhesha Movement started and was maturing. A total of 10 (26%) editorials have been published in between the period by both KP and GP. In the last month of study, i.e. in the period between 17 February and 17 March there are no editorials published about Madhesha Movement because the Movement ended 7 February, 2007.
Views about Madheshi Movement
Editorials published in KP and GP have presented Madhesha Movement in both negative and positive lights. Here, the editorials which have, at least, acknowledged the demands of Madheshi people during the Madhesha Movement have been kept under the ‘positive’ category and the editorials which have outright condemned the Madhesha Movement as ‘unwanted’ are kept under the ‘negative’ category.
Of the total (17) editorials published in KP, 3 (21%) editorials have negative views about the Movement while 10 (48%) editorials published in GP have negative views about the Movement, out of the 21 total editorials. Overall, 13 (34%) editorials have negative views about the Movement to 25 (66%) which has positive views about the Movement.
Interpretation and Discussion
Both KP and GP have given ample amount of importance to the Madhesha Movement which is, respectively, shown by the average 9 and 11 editorials/month published by them in the period of the Movement.
Though both of the newspapers have given importance to Madheshi Movement, the importance given by the KP is different from that of the GP. GP has expressed almost uniform views, in all of its editorials, regarding the Madhesha Movement. It has throughout the Movement expressed negative views about the ‘non-peaceful agitation’ of Madhesha and has presented the Constitution Assembly (CA) election as the panacea of all the problems. GP in its first editorial published in 28 December, 2006 following the Nepaljung riot has urged peoples to put ‘national unity’ ahead of anything and everything. GP has also expressed its dissatisfaction on the ‘regional and ethnic politics’ done by NSP (A). Almost all the time, GP has suspected the riots that occurred during the Movement as an act of ‘regressive force’ who didn’t want the CA election and has reminded the agitating parties to be careful about the misuse of the Movement by the regressive force at the time of fragile transitional politics in Nepal. In the editorial published in 26 January, 2007, GP has asked all the people and political parties in the country to concentrate on CA election rather than on the ‘small’ disputes of interim constitution. Even when the Madhesha Movement was at its peak it has not portrayed a positive picture regarding the Movement but has respected the ‘demands’ of people in Madhesha. Likewise, condemning the riots at different instances and places, GP has appealed the political parties and organization involved in the Movement to protest in a peaceful way and also urged them to sit in dialogue with government to meet their demands as well as to solve their problem. Only towards the end of the Movement, when even the government of Nepal was willing to respond to the demands of Madhesha, GP has acknowledged the limitations of interim constitution and has lauded the effort put in by the government to solve the issues of Madhesha. GP, even in the editorial published by it following the second address of the Prime Minister in the name of the nation, has not stopped claiming the involvement of ‘regressive force’ in the Madhesha Movement.
Although there is a striking similarity between the views of KP and GP about the Madhesha Movement when it was still at its incubation phase, KP has favored the Madheshi Movement from its fourth editorial published on January 04, 2007. In the first three editorials published by KP, it has voiced against the general strike called by NSP (A) claiming strikes as a hindrance in the economic progress of the nation. KP in its first editorials published about Madhesha Movement in 26 December, 2006 has requested the organizers of general strike to find ‘creative’ ways to protest and demand for their needs. In the same line, in the second and third article that followed, KP has kept on expressing negative views about the Madhesha Movement. Implicitly point out NSP (A), it has asked polities parties to make their cadres calm and not take every of their grievances to road. Highlighting on the need of ‘unity’ among Nepalese people, KP has explained, in its third editorial of 29 December, 2006, Nepaljung riot of 27 December, 2006, as an ‘effort to disintegrate’ the country and has asked security force to be alert in maintaining peaceful environment. The third editorial of KP has also demanded punishment for those who disturb communal harmony and peace.
But, KP seems to have completely changed its view regarding Madhesha Movement from its fourth editorial and onwards. The fourth editorial, shedding light on the problem of Madhesha and ethnic communities about the first-past-the-post electoral system has favored the demands of ethnic and marginalized communities for proportionate electoral system and proportionate participation in the governmental bodies. It has also cautioned the political parties to work on the demands of different organization and groups regarding interim constitution and not promulgate the constitution till the differences are worked out.
In the editorials that followed, KP has appealed the government to incorporate the demands of Madhesha based political parties and organization in the interim constitution. In its eighth editorial published on 19 January, 2007, KP has termed the burning of interim constitution as ‘not illegal’ and has supported the demands of MJF. The same editorial has also condemned the state for marginalizing Madhesha from the mainstream politics. Again in the editorial that followed, KP has criticized the ‘excessive’ use of security force which once it had advocated for, and has asked the problem of Madhesha to solve politically rather by using security force.
In the thirteenth editorial published on 31 January, 2007, after the attack on journalists, KP has strongly opposed the violence involved in the Movement and has explained the movement without entrance to press as ‘non-peaceful’.
KP, in the editorials that it published after the attack on journalists, has again supported the Madhesha Movement and also stressed on the need of federalism, proportionate electoral system and proportionate representation for the country. It has explained the first speech of Prime Minister in the name of the nation as ‘insufficient’ and has condemned the speech for keeping mum over the people killed and injured during the Movement. Finally, in the last editorial published on 9 February, 2007, KP has cautiously welcomed the second speech by the Prime Minister and also called the Madhesha Movement as the movement of people but not an act of ‘regressive force’.
Both KP and GP have given importance to Madhesha Movement if frequency of editorials devoted for the Movement is taken into consideration.
But the kind of importance given by KP and GP to Madhesha Movement differs from each other. Coverage of GP about Madhesha Movement has moved along the line of government of the particular time characterizing itself to be a government media. Like the then government, the GP can now be explained as an media which don’t match the popular notion ‘voice of the voiceless’ given to media in general.
On the other hand KP can be called a ‘dynamic’ media which is quick to understand popular sentiment and report about the events accordingly. The change in instance by KP from viewing the Madhesha Movement from negative angle to positive positive angle is a testimony of its ability to understand popular sentiment. But if overall dynamics of a newsroom is to be analyzed, the change in instance of KP regarding Madhesha Movement can’t be simply taken as adversarial journalism, it can have many political and economic implications behind it.
 There are 20 districts in Terai namely: Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mohattari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilavastu, Dang, Banke, Bardhiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur (Simkhada, 2063).
 Nepal Sadbhawana Parisad was later changed in to a political party named Nepal Sadbhawana Party after restoration of democracy in 1990 (Mathema, 2011).
 Maoists to win the support of the marginalized communities established various central-level ethnic fronts following the Supreme Court decision of 1999 to ban languages other than Nepali in government offices (Mathema, 2011).
 Alliance between Rajendra Mahato-led Sadhvawana Party, MJF and Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) (Mathema, 2011).
CBS. (2012). National population and housing census 2011. Kathmandu: Central Bureau of Statistics.
Shah, S.G. (n.d.). Peaceful resolution of ethno-political movement in Nepal Madhesha. Retrieved on 15 December, 2012 from http://cpjsnepal.org/pdf/feature_shree_govind.pdf
Yadav, R.R. (2008). Madhesha bidhrohama Siraha-Saptari, 75-102. In Bhaskhar Gautam (ed.) Madhesha bidrohako nalibeli. Kathmandu: Martin Chautari.
Sapkota, S. and Singh, S. (2008). Apratyasit nepaljung danga, 60-73. In Bhaskhar Gautam (ed.) Madhesha bidrohako nalibeli. Kathmandu: Martin Chautari.
Mathema, K. B. (2011). Madheshi uprising: The resurgence of ethnicity. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point.
Rimal, G.N. (2009). Infused ethnicities: Nepal’s interlaced and indivisible social mosaic. Kathmandu: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Nepal.
Simkhada, D. (2063). Madheshi andolan ra musalman samudaya. Baha Jornal, 3 (3), 29-44.
Cheah, F. (2008). Inclusive democracy for madheshis: The quest for identity, rights and representation. Retrieved on 18 December, 2012, from http://www.isas.nus.edu.sg/Attachments/ResearchAttachment/Report%20-%20Farah.pdf
ICG. (2007). Nepal’s troubled Terai region. Retrieved on 15 December, 2012, from http://un.org.np/sites/default/files/report/tid_105/2007-07-14-nepal_s_troubled_Terai_region.pdf
APPENDIX – I: Chronology of Key Madhesha Events
1951: Nepal Terai Congress formed under Vedanand Jha.
1952: First Citizenship Act introduced.
1957: Imposition of Nepali as sole language for education sparks protests in Terai.
1959: NC sweeps first democratic elections; Nepal Terai Congress wins no seats.
1964: New Citizenship Act based on 1962 Panchayat constitution makes it harder for Madheshis to acquire citizenship.
1979: King Birendra holds referendum on Panchayat system; higher support for multi-party democracy in Terai districts.
1983: Nepal Sadbhavana Parishad formed under Gajendra Narayan Singh to raise Madheshi issues.
1990: People’s movement brings Panchayat system to an end. New constitution promulgated. Nepal Sadbhavana Parishad registers as party to contest elections but demands constituent assembly.
1994: Government sets up Dhanapati Commission on citizenship issue.
1996: Maoists launch insurgency.
1997: Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) established in Biratnagar as cross-party intellectual platform.
2000: Maoists set up Madheshi Rashtriya Mukti Morcha (MRMM) under Jai Krishna Goit in Siliguri.
2004: Matrika Yadav appointed as head of MRMM; Goit splits and forms the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM).
24 April: Following nineteen-day mass movement, king announces reinstatement of parliament.
18 May: Parliamentary proclamation curtails royal powers and declares Nepal a secular state; Hindu organizations, especially in the Terai, protest.
17 July: Matrika Yadav announces war against JTMM.
August-October: Jwala Singh expelled from JTMM forms his own faction. Frequent JTMM strikes (both factions) affect normal life in Terai. Increase in clashes between Maoist-JTMM and JTMM factions.
23 September: JTMM (G) activists shoot dead Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Member of Parliament (MP) Krishna Charan Shrestha in Siraha.
22 October: JTMM (G) expresses willingness to talk; government agrees in principle (26 October) but makes no move for negotiations.
26 November: Citizenship law amended enabling Madheshis to get citizenship certificates and associated rights.
16 December: NSP (A) protests interim constitution provisions on electoral system and its silence on federalism. JTMM (JS) imposes prohibition on non-Madheshis driving on Terai roads for a fortnight.
26 December: NSP (A) protest turns violent in Nepalgunj; communal aspects with Pahadhi-Madheshi clashes, while police accused of anti-Madheshi bias. Government forms commission to investigate (27 December).
30 December: Prime Minister Koirala expresses his willingness to solve Terai problem through talks. Ian Martin, special representative of the UN Secretary-General, voices concern about violent activities in eastern Terai.
6 January: JTMM (JS) expresses willingness to talk to government under UN auspices.
12 January: Three-day Terai strike called by JTMM (G). Nepal’s Troubled Terai Region
16 January: MJF announces strike in Terai to protest interim constitution’s promulgation. Its leaders are arrested while burning copies of the statute in Kathmandu.
19 January: Maoists clash with MJF activists in Lahan, killing student Ramesh Kumar Mahato.
20 January: Maoist cadres seize and cremate Mahato’s body; Lahan put under curfew.
21 January-7 February: Movement picks up across eastern Terai against the government and Maoists, with growing public support, mass defiance of curfews, clashes between police and protestors, attacks on government offices and almost 40 people killed. Maoists accuse feudal elements and royalists of inciting unrest and reject talks.
29 January: NSP (A) minister Hridayesh Tripathi resigns from government. Government arrests former royal ministers on charges of instigating violence.
31 January: Prime Minister Koirala makes national television address appealing for dialogue; protestors reject the offer.
2 February: Government forms committee led by Mahant Thakur to talk to all agitating groups.
7 February: Koirala makes second address; government agrees to introduce federalism and allot half the seats in the constituent assembly to Terai.
8 February: MJF cautiously welcomes Koirala’s address, suspends agitation for ten days and sets preconditions for talks: home minister’s resignation, declaration of all those killed as martyrs and a Madheshi-led, independent panel to investigate atrocities.
11 February: Madheshi MPs demand immediate amendment of interim constitution.
13 February: JTMM (JS) agrees to talk and halt violence. JTMM (G) rejects talks offer (14 February).
15 February: Home Minister Sitaula apologizes for mistakes during Terai unrest but refuses to quit.
19 February: MFJ renews its agitation, saying government failed to create environment for talks. JTMM (G) calls three-day Terai shutdown (21 February).
22 February: Thakur committee asks government to withdraw all charges against JTMM factions to create environment for talks.
1 March: Madheshi Tigers abduct eleven people from Saptari.
4 March: JTMM (JS) resumes armed revolt, accusing government of not wanting negotiations.
6 March: NSP (A) threatens to leave SPA if interim constitution is not amended.
9 March: Legislature amends interim constitution creating Electoral Constituency Delimitation Commission (ECDC) to revise constituencies and guaranteeing federalism.
21 March: MJF-Maoist clash in Gaur, killing 27 Maoists and leaving dozens injured. Curfew imposed.
Government forms panel to investigate and submit report in fifteen days (23 March). MJF protests banned in Rautahat, Siraha, Jhapa and Morang (24 March).
11 April: Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel calls MJF and JTMM for talks.
18 April: Madheshi MPs reject ECDC recommendations, demand fresh census and block functioning of interim legislature for over a month.
20 April: OHCHR investigation holds law enforcement agencies, MJF and Maoists jointly responsible for Gaur massacre.
26 April: MJF applies to the Election Commission to register as a political party.
10 May: Ram Chandra Poudel meets MJF president Upendra Yadav in Birgunj.
13 May: JTMM (G) kills JTMM (JS) district chairman of Rautahat. JTMM (JS) retaliates by killing two JTMM (G) activists.
25 May: Cabinet forms commission to investigate killings during the Terai unrest.
1 June: Government-MJF talks in Janakpur; MJF presents 26 demands. Nepal’s Troubled Terai Region
8 June: NSP factions merge under banner of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi).
13 June: Two Maoists killed in clash with MJF in Rupandehi.
22 June: MRMM central committee dissolved after differences between Matrika Yadav and Prabhu Sah.
Ram Kumari Yadav appointed coordinator of new ad-hoc committee; Prachanda takes charge of the party’s eastern Terai region.
24 June: Government announces 22 November date for constituent assembly elections; extends ECDC term by 21 days so it can review its earlier report.