BAJHANG, May 19: A lot of Nepali migrant workers, who had left the country for jobs abroad, have returned home to caste their votes in the local elections being held after a gap of almost two decades.
Bijuli Sarki, 46, of Masta Rural Municipality-3 who had filed his candidacy for the chief post of Bhatekhola VDC in the local elections of 1997, said, “Local elections had compelled me to leave my village and the same local elections have brought me back home.” Sarki, who had filed his candidacy from Nepali Congress (NC), was defeated by his opponent from the CPN-UML. Accepting his defeat, Sarki had gone to India in search of employment.
He wanted to stay in the village and continue his political career, but the loan taken for campaigning had left him debt-ridden. As a result, he was obliged to go to India for employment. Recently, he returned home to participate in the local elections as soon as he learnt that the local polls will be held in his district on June 14.
He wanted to file his candidacy for the chief post of the rural municipality once again but he couldn't do so as he has become less popular among the locals now. “As I have returned after a long time, the young people in the village don't know me,” he shared.
“I was active in politics from an early age,” said Dabal Bhattarai who had filed his candidacy from area no 6 of Bhatekhola VDC in the local elections of 1997. After being defeated, he, too, left for India and had been living in Tamilnadu with his family. But after he heard about the local elections slated for June 14, he returned home to support his party in the election campaign. “If the party will give me a ticket, I am ready to contest the elections. If not, I will be supporting my friends fighting the elections,” said Bhattarai.
Similarly, Dal Bista of Talkot Rural Municipality recently returned from Bangalore to support a friend contesting the second round of local elections.
In recent days, the bus station of Bajhang has witnessed a number of migrant Nepalis who have returned home to participate in the elections. According to the locals, such crowds at the bus park are seen only during the festivals.