ROLPA, Aug 4: While Chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal was being elected prime minister for the second time in parliament on Wednesday, locals in Rolpa, the district from where he and his party initiated the decade-long Maoist armed insurgency, were more sceptical than hopeful that a new Dahal premiership would improve the prospects of development in their district.
Lack of faith in Dahal, who is popularly known as Prachanda, is rampant among people in all walks of life in the district, which is known as the cradle of the Maoist insurgency. They do not feel any hope that Dahal as prime minister again will prioritize development in the district and work to improve life for the locals.
Daily-wage workers breaking rocks into aggregates in the scorching heat of Bamaruk, a village near district headquarters Libang, voiced a lot of dissatisfaction with Dahal, Wednesday.
Ambar Bahadur Sarki, 50, used to be a construction worker. But he has not found construction works for the last two years and has taken to breaking up rocks to eke out a living. “I heard that Prachanda is once again becoming prime minister. But I doubt if he will do anything for us this time either; he did not do anything for the development of the district the last time he was prime minister,” he said, venting his frustration.
He also accused Dahal of cuddling party cardres close to his faction rather than working for the good of the general public when he was prime minister for the first time in 2008. “When he became prime minister, we had high hopes that he would do something notable for the district from where he launched his insurgency, but no such thing happened," he said adding,"I sometimes feel that Dahal only used the insurgency as a ladder to power." Otherwise he would definitely have cared for the poor like us who are still suffering the after effects of the insurgency, he added.
He said that the new government should take the initiative to create jobs for Rolpa locals like himself.
Sarki is married to 48-year-old Rima and they have four children. Given his meager income, he struggles to send them to school. “Dahal and his party have done nothing to uplift the poor though uplifting people out of poverty was the main slogan of the insurgency,” added Rima, who was breaking rocks alongside her husband.
“I hear that Prachanda has done a lot for his own district of Chitwan but he forgot the people of the district from where Pushpa Kamal Dahal became Prachanda,” she said.
58-year-old Nirjala Mahara of Bamruk was also not excited over Dahal once again becoming prime minister. “I don't care whether Dahal or anybody else becomes prime minister because such change has nothing to do with our own lives,” she said.
She, however, added that Dahal now has a second chance to show he cares about Rolpa. “People feel very hopeless but Dahal now has a chance to regain their trust by prioritizing development in the district and creating jobs,” she added.