BIRATNAGAR, March 22: Ward members of various local units of Province 1 on Wednesday encircled the Provincial Assembly building demanding their salaries. Ward members staged the protest just before the meeting of the provincial government.
The agitating ward members had urged the provincial government to fix their salaries and allowances but the government is yet to address this issue. So, they decided to stage protest in order to vent their ire.
The ward members even demanded to scrap the post of ward members if their position has no importance. "If they don't need us, they better scrap our post," said Dipendra Bista, ward member of Morang Gramthan-6. They stated that they chose to go for a peaceful protest as the provincial government is in the initial stage of formulating laws.
They also warned of going for violent protest if their demands are still neglected. They also informed that the first and foremost thing that they will be doing after as a part of their violent protest is to padlock offices of the local units. As per the current provision, ward members won't receive salaries or privileges but they will receive a certain amount of money after attending ward meetings.
Ward members lament that the little money received by attending two or three meetings a month is not even cover their mobile phone expenses. There are some wards where meetings have not been conducted regularly. "It has been more than five months that there has been no meeting in our ward," said Rajiahamad Ansari, ward member of Biratnagar-6.
Though locals have a lot of expectations from the ward members, they have not been able to do anything as they have not been given any rights. The ward members even submitted a statement mentioning all their demands to spokesperson of Province 1, Pradip Bhandari.
Spokesperson Bhandari also assured to do something to address the demands of the protesters. As stated by the ward members, despite being guaranteed in the constitution, the provincial government has conspired to deprive them of their rights and privileges.