Voters in a fix due to party switchers

Published On: December 2, 2017 02:44 AM NPT By: Tanka Chhetri

SARLAHI, Dec 1: Party-switching has been a common strategy of aspiring candidates during elections. However, this has put the voters in a dilemma as the same candidate is found chanting slogans of different political parties in different elections. 

Ramashish Sah of Chandranagar says he is often confused as the same candidate vies in each parliamentary election but from different parties. "Sometimes they are found supporting one party and in another election the same person seeks votes for a different party," he said, adding, "This has not just annoyed us but has also put us in a dilemma."   

Three candidates of Sarlahi vying in the upcoming federal elections slated for December 7 have contested all elections since 2008 but from different parties. However, the candidacy of one of them was scrapped recently during the election campaign.
Former Minister and leader of CPN (Maoist Center) Rameshwar Raya has been fielded by the left alliance in constituency no.3. Similalrly, Shivapujan Raya, former lawmaker and candidate of the left alliance is contesting the polls from constituency no.4 and Ram Chandra Singh Kushwaha of the same party from constituency 1(a). 

Surprisingly, these candidates have participated in several parliamentary elections but from different parties. But the Election Commission (EC) scrapped the candidacy of Shivapujan just a few days ago. He has filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court against the decision of EC but the verdict is yet to come.

Rameshwar Raya who is vying in the parliamentary elections from constituency no.3 from CPN (Maoist Center) had contested the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections of 2013 from Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik (MJF-L). In 2008, RayA had filed his candidacy from Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal (MJFN). However, he was defeated in both the elections.

Similarly, Ram Chandra Kushwaha, parliamentary candidate of CPN (Maoist Center) was fielded by the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) in the first CA elections of 2008. But in 2013, he was nominated by Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party (TMSP). He was successful in occupying the third position in both the elections.
Likewise, former lawmaker Shivapujan Raya who had filed his candidacy from MJFN in 2008 emerged victorious in constituency no. 6. In 2013, he was nominated again but from TMSP and was defeated by the Nepali Congress candidate.

Five more candidates competing in the parliamentary elections are party switchers. Former minister and RJPN presidium committee member Mahendra Raya, Jangi Lal Raya of NC, Dinesh Raya of CPN (Maoist Center), state minister for Livestock Development Shambhu Lal Shrestha and Fakira Mahato of CPN (Maoist Center) have filed their candidacies for the second time by switching parties.
According to Rajanikant Jha, a civil society leader and professor, most of the party switchers are those who are more concerned about themselves rather than the nation and the people. "Actually they are the people who run after power but have got nothing to do with the people and the nation," he claimed. As per the locals, such leaders and cadres have misrepresented politics and politicians. On the other hand, such candidates claim that there is no hesitation in seeking votes from different parties as they are doing it for the people. 

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