Family, ethnic ties decisive in tarai polls

Published On: June 12, 2017 05:00 AM NPT By: Mithilesh Yadav

BARIYARPATTI (SIRAHA), June 11: Ramautar Yadav, an aspirant for the post of chairperson of Ward No.1of Bariyarpatti Rural Municipality, is yet to be picked by any party to contest the upcoming election. But he claims that he will win the polls easily, if he gets the chance.

The reason behind the confidence of this 55-year old man is his strong family relations in the ward. He also commands a strong personal influence in the area. Citing these reasons, Yadav has been mounting pressure on Nepali Congress Siraha Constituency-2 leaders Bishnu Prasad Gupta and Shailendra Yadav for his candidacy in the election.

"You need ethnic and family relations to get votes in local level elections," he unveiled his election strategies, "I have such relations. That would cut the votes of my competitors and ensure my victory."

Baleshwar Yadav, an aspirant for the post of chairperson of Bariyarpatti Rural Municipality, too, is yet to secure his candidacy but he has been running election campaigns. A two-time chairperson of the then Tenuwapatti VDC, he said that his past experience as a local representative could be a strong reason behind his possible victory. 

He also said that he has very strong family ties in all five wards of the rural municipality. However, he is not quite sure about his victory "as not only family relations but also money and ethnicity play a major role in local elections."

Election observers say that money could play a major role in attracting the voters. They further note that the Mukhiya (village chief) could play an important role in the polls. "The Mukhiyas may pile pressure on the locals of his area to cast their votes to the candidate of his choice. So, the candidates give money to the Mukhiyas to get votes," said an observer.
Meanwhile, selected candidates have already started collecting funds to fight the election. They have been targeting the local businessman for the financial support.

"I have been selected for candidacy. I need your support," a local businessman, quoted the candidate as saying.

"Winning the elections for the major posts requires a huge spending," said a candidate requesting anonymity.

According to poll observers, mere party organization does not decide Madhes polls. Instead, caste and family relations remain the decisive factors behind winning or losing local elections in the southern region of the country.
"Something as precious as a vote should not be cast in haste. I will defiantly choose my relatives over others," said Bechan Yadav, a local of Ward No.4 of Bariyarpatti Rural Municipality.

"The locals love to cast their votes to their relatives and do not care about the party," said Ramsundar Yadav, a local teacher of Bariyarpatti Ward 4.

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