JHAPA, Dec 21: Chandra Lal Kattel of Shivasatakshi Municipality-10 of Jhapa district had just bade farewell to a group of election campaigners representing the left alliance of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) in an early morning about a month ago.
“We will put an end to erosion caused by Kankai River,” the group promised him. Kattel was hopeful as the city's mayor, during his election campaigns, too had promised the same. This time, it was the parliamentarian candidate who made the promise.
After the conclusion of the elections, the group which had promised Kattel emerged victorious. Kattel was invited to a function organized by the group to extend its gratitude for the election success. However, his hopes were dashed after attending the program.
“They had promised to take initiative to stop erosion caused by the Kankai River during election campaigns. But now, they told us to pressurized the municipality because they will be busy in the parliament,” said Kattel, who has already lost 1.5 bighas of land in Kankai erosion.
Residents like him living near the banks of Kankai River face displacement every monsoon and their lands have been continually eroding. “I have realized that politicians make any promise during elections. It's a different story after they emerge victorious,” he expressed his disappointment.
Before the elections, parliamentarian candidates present development plans to lure the voters. But after the elections, they shy away from their pledges saying that their responsibility is to make laws. Voters have started accusing them of shamelessly changing their stand.
Interestingly, the development agenda set by candidates of the last parliamentary elections were similar to the one raised by candidates of local elections. Along with ward chairman, mayors and other candidates of the local elections, parliamentary and provincial assembly candidates too used the same agenda to lure voters.
Voters are already disappointed with their local representatives. They have accused them of being loud about development plans but doing nothing even seven months after being elected. As criticisms pour over the local representatives, the recently elected provincial assembly and parliament representatives too are following the same path.
Dr Khim Lal Devkota, an expert on local resources mobilization, said, “It is very much apparent that top leaders of political parties contested in the parliamentary and provincial assembly elections carrying the same development agendas of the local election candidates.”
He added that leaders who make promises just for the sake of promise will lose their credibility soon. “People are already starting to doubt the recently elected candidates of parliamentary and provincial assembly elections,” he pointed out.