Dalits deprived of 'just' representation in local poll candidacy

Published On: September 12, 2017 01:14 PM NPT

LAHAN, September 12: Dalits are not given a due space while choosing candidacy for major posts by political parties for the upcoming third the phase of local level election in Siraha district. 

Political parties, especially big ones, have overlooked the need of Dalits presence while allocating tickets for the election taking place in eights districts of the Province No 2 on coming September 18. 

Dalits' representation is limited to just in the reserved quota for the Dalit ward member. Dalit's candidacy is the least in terms of the number. Only few parties are exception. CPN (Maoist Centre) and Naya Shakti Party have ensured the candidacy for Dalits for key posts at local levels here. 

The Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), Federal Socialist Forum and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal seemed that they have turned a blind eye towards the necessity of Dalits' representation at the local level as none of them has given tickets to an individual from the Dalit community for the post of mayor and deputy mayor and chief and deputy chief of rural municipalities in the district. 

But exception to this trend, CPN (MC) has picked up Ganga Paswan from the Dalit community as the mayoral candidate from the Kajarnaha Municipality while Rikma Bishwakarma is in the race for deputy mayor from the Lahan Municipality from the party ticket. 

Likewise, party candidate Ram Narayan Das is to fight for the post of ward chair from Nawarjpur Rural Municipality. 

Similarly, Naya Shakti has selected Dalit candidate Dr Dilip Sada for the election of mayor in Siraha Municipality. 

However, they had spent time searching for candidates for the post of a ward member reserved for Dalit women. Dalits' least representation in the candidacy has riled the Dalit rights activists 

Dalit rights activist Umesh Bisunkhe said that although Dalit women have got the opportunity to be candidate for the ward member from reserved quota, they have not got the chance to contest in major posts. 

Dalit women could be made as candidates to the post of deputy-mayor and vice-chairperson if the major parties had wanted so, but Dalit women have been limited to only reserved quotas. 

Major political parties are not found being loyal to make women from Dalit community as candidates encouraging them in Siraha, where the highest number of people from Dalit community is living. 

Another Dalit leader Sijendra Sada said that political parties have still narrow thinking that candidates from the Dalit community could not win the election, and voters do not want to vote for the Dalit candidates. He said, "The Dalit leaders have been deprived of the opportunity to be candidate in the local-level election taking place after 20 years." 

Sada said that all political parties have failed to bring the party's policy into practice. 
Dalit leaders opine that although some Dalits have filed their candidacy in key posts from CPN (Maoist Centre), other political parties should give special opportunity in next election. RSS 

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