Although the elections date for local bodies is less than a month away, there is no political consensus yet on holding the elections. Despite meeting several times in the last two months, three major political parties and United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) continue to have their differences. Given the current political scenario, any breakthrough is unlikely anytime soon. UDMF has already made it clear that it will boycott the elections if they are held without addressing the demands of amendment in the constitution. As time is running out, three major political parties have few options: hold the elections without UDMF or present the constitution amendment bill through a fast track process. Nepal has already paid a high price when three major political parties promulgated the new constitution by ignoring the voices of resentment from UDMF two years ago. The situation has changed now and three parties are not in a position to ignore Madheshis. As political parties are battling for their demands, Elections Commission has already moved ahead to hold the elections. The printing of ballot papers and voter identity cards is in the final stage. As the election fever is gradually picking up, we have decided to focus this issue on the local elections. We analyse the possible elections scenario thoroughly. Along with the elections, we interviewed Lord Megand Desai, a world renowned scholar, on the new global political development and rise of Nepalese Maoist communist.
Along with other topics, I have also covered Nepal-Bihar's connectivity and disconnecting factors in this issue. Thanks to the invitation of ADRI, I had a great opportunity to attend an international conference in Patna, India, on Indian state of Bihar and Jharkhand under the leadership of Academician of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology and former minister of water resources Dipak Gyawali. In a special session allocated to Nepal and Bihar, we interacted with Indian scholars, particularly from Bihar, and other international experts about Nepal and Bihar’s connectivity factors. Nepal and Bihar share so much commonality as both are connected by rivers, culture and religion and other so many factors. Historically, there were many connections but the traditional connection is gradually vanishing. Although the conference focused on the issue of Indian state of Bihar and Jharkhand, there was a special session on Nepal and Bihar as well.