Nepal govt gets president's nod to deploy army for May polls

Nepal government on Friday got the approval from the president to deploy the army for the smooth conduct of local-level polls on May 14 amid a stiff resistance by the Madhes-centric parties.

Kathmandu: Nepal government on Friday got the approval from the president to deploy the army for the smooth conduct of local-level polls on May 14 amid a stiff resistance by the Madhes-centric parties.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has granted her approval to mobilise Nepal Army personnel during the elections under the Constitution, said a statement issued by her office.

"Nepal Army personnel can be mobilised to conduct local level elections in a free, fair and fearless manner," it said.

The National Security Council last month took a decision to deploy the Nepal Army during the polls in May. The decision was endorsed by Prime Minister Prachanda's Cabinet recently.

The president's clearance for the army's deployment has come amid a threat by the Madhes-based parties, who claim to represent the interests of inhabitants of the southern Terai region who are mostly of Indian-origin, to boycott the polls.

They demand that the Constitution promulgated in 2015 be amended to revise the provision of citizenship and the provincial boundaries be re-demarcated to allow the Madhesi people have adequate representation in the parliament.

Prachanda last week said the Madhes-centric parties will pay a "terrible price" if they rejected the government's appeal to participate in the elections. His coalition government has said it was making efforts to bring them to the electoral process so as to implement the Constitution.