Big parties finalizing poll manifestos

April 20, 2017 05:30 AM Ashok Dahal

KATHMANDU, April 20: Major political parties have emphasized self-governance and empowerment of local bodies in their manifestos for the upcoming local polls. 

Most political parties have almost finalized their manifestos for the local polls, which are being held in the country on May 14 after a gap of two decades.

With the new constitution granting more powers to the local level, major  parties   are promising in their  manifesto to empower the  local levels for the sake of development and self-governance. 

 Nepali Congress (NC), the largest  party in parliament,  has been focusing on infrastructure, social security, tourism and employment issues in its manifesto, said party leader Mahesh Acharya. “The new constitution has granted lots more powers to the local level than before. Our manifesto has been drafted with a  vision of using these powers to achieve economic prosperity and development at the local level,” said Acharya.

NC has  entrusted a team led  by Acharya to finalize the party manifesto for local polls. “We have almost finalized the manifesto. It will be endorsed from the upcoming party central committee meeting,” he said. 

The main opposition CPN-UML is bringing an ambitions plan of increasing the per capita income of the people, said the party's leaders.

Party spokesperson Yogesh Bhattarai said that good governance, economic prosperity, social security, health and education and a self-reliant economy will be highlighted in the party manifesto. 

“Our party manifesto will be focusing on overall development at the local level. Good governance, economic prosperity, social security, health and education and a self-reliant economy will be the major election agenda,” said Bhattarai. 

A team led by party Vice-chairman Bam Dev Gautam has been finalizing the party manifesto for the local polls. Bhattarai said that the election manifesto will be unveiled immediately after party Chairman K P Oli returns home. Oli has been in Thailand for a week for treatment. 

Third largest party CPN (Maoist Center) is  stressing granting more resources to the local level for the effective development of the country. “Our main election agenda will be taking the powers of Singha Durbar to the local level,” Maoist leader Dev Gurung said. 

“The constitution has decentralized the powers of Singha Durbar to the doorsteps of the people. Our election manifesto will bring a vision of developing the local level  on the basis of constitutional rights,” he said.

The Maoist Center has  also issued a circular to the party's committees at  local level to develop their own manifestos focusing on local needs. 

Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the fourth largest  in  parliament, has also been  promising empowering people at the local level, in its manifesto being drafted for the local polls. RPP Chairman Kamal Thapa is himself  drafting the manifesto and aims to make it public on April 24. 

“RPP's election manifesto will contain a vision of making the local level more empowered and will propose a pro-people and progressive agenda,” said RPP joint spokesperson Mohan Shrestha. 

Meanwhile, the major parties have expedited their election campaigns in major cities outside Kathmandu Valley and also at the local levels. NC has been holding mass rallies in each federal province, while the UML has just concluded its Mechi-Mahakali campaign. 

The Maoist Center has also deputed its party leaders at the local level for election campaigning. Election rallies of the RPP are also underway in major cities outside the capital.

With the Election Commission's deadline for filing candidacy inching closer, party rank and file are busy  finalizing the candidates. Most  parties have entrusted the party district committees with the responsibility of finalizing candidates for the wards, rural municipalities and municipalities.

Candidates for the metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities are being finalized from the central levels of the parties. 

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