Although one of the key demands of the Madhesi movement has been proportional representation of communities, analysis of local election results shows that instead of representing the diversity of Madhesis, prominent posts tend to fall on the socially and politically more privileged Yadavs and Terai Brahmin-Chhetris.
The census of 2011 showed that the Madhesi population was 4,089439, i.e. 15.4% of Nepal. In accordance with the categorization of different population groups under the election laws, this number excludes Muslims, Terai Dalits and Terai Janajatis. Of the total population of the group categorized as Madhesis, 1054458 (4 % of Nepal’s population) are Yadav and 22,0660 (0.8%) are Terai Brahmin-Chhetri. The remaining are categorized in this article as ‘Madhesi Other’, and includes communities such as Mahato, Sah, Sudi, and Thakurs, and this group makes up 10.5% of the population of Nepal.
Analyzing group distributions among Madhesi local representatives
Among the elected Madhesis, 1,251 (29.2%) are Yadav, and 296 (6.9%) are Terai Brahmin-Chhetri. Taken together, the distribution of Yadav and Terai Brahmin-Chhetri appears slightly more than their share in the national Madhesi population.
Among mayoral positions, Terai Brahmin-Chhetris and Yadavs are represented more than their national percentage.
The metropolitan, sub-metropolitan and municipality levels have 293 mayors, of which 60 (20%) are Madhesis. In the mayoral post, 27 (9.2% of mayors) are Yadav and 7 (2.4%) are Terai Brahmin-Chhetri. Similarly, among the 460 Rural municipality chairs, 66 (14%) are Madhesis. Among these Madhesi chairpersons, 29 are Yadav, and 6 are Terai Brahmin-Chhetri.
In the deputy mayor position Terai Brahmin-Chhetri outnumber Yadavs
Of the total 293 total deputy mayors, 49 (17%) are Madhesi. Among those Madhesi deputy mayors, 9 are Terai Brahmin-Chhetri and 5 are Yadav.
Among the major parties UML has lowest Madhesi representation
Only 5.3% of UML local representatives are Madhesis. Among Nepali Congress and Maoist local representatives, Madhesis are represented in proportion to their population (13.4% and 13.2% per party respectively). Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum and Ra Ja Pa Nepal both have more Madhesis than non-Madhesis among their local representatives.
Political affiliation of local representatives of each Madhesi group
Nepali Congress has the largest share of each group of Madhesi local representatives. For Terai Brahmin-Chhetri local representatives, their second largest affiliation is with Ra Ja Pa Nepal, while for Yadav and Other Madhesis, it is with the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum.