KATHMANDU, Oct 26: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said all arrangements are in place for holding the elections to the House of Representatives and the provincial assemblies in a peaceful and impartial atmosphere. Voting for the twin elections will take place simultaneously on November 20.
In his address to a program organized by the National Luminary Shankhadhar Sakhwa Foundation here today, the Prime Minister said support and cooperation from political parties and various other quarters were necessary to make the elections a success. On the occasion, he garlanded the idol of Sakhwa at Shankhadhar Chowk, Madhyapur Thimi Municipality.
"Only a democratic government is capable of delivering constructively," the Prime Minister said, adding that the elections would strengthen democracy. Terming the Nepal Sambat as the original calendar of Nepal, Prime Minister Deuba said that the government has already declared Sakhwa as a national luminary, published a postal stamp in his name, and made arrangements to include contents about him in the school curriculum.
Sakhwa is credited with initiating the Nepal Sambat and today marks the commencement of Nepal Sambat 1143.
Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jeevan Ram Shrestha said that the government was preparing to announce a national award in Sakhwa's name to institutionalize his contribution to the nation. He said three people will get an award carrying a purse of Rs 100,000 each every year.
Vowing to promote the tourism development in the Kathmandu Valley by keeping its cultural, and historical identities intact, Minister Shrestha said that the government was planning to implement the Nepal Sambat as the language for official use by making it applicable and simple.
On the occasion, Kathmandu Metropolis Deputy Mayor Sunita Dangol spoke about the significance of the contribution made by Shankhadhar Sakhwa to the cause of the valley folks. She said that the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has already assisted Rs 10 million for the construction of the Shankhadhar Park at Shankhadhar Chowk and also hinted at the possibility of additional assistance in the days to come.
Madhyapur Thimi Mayor Surendra Shrestha pledged to own up responsibility for completing the Shankhadhar Park construction project.
Foundation Chair Gyanram Shrestha demanded the government announce a national award in the name of Sakhwa. On the occasion, Mahendra Gopal Karmacharya received the Shankhadhar Samman (honor) on behalf of the Birat Nepal Bhasha Sahitya Sammelan Guthi. Likewise, the head-of-the government honored the Foundation's former chair Shyam Krishna Prajapati with the Shankhadhar Samman.
Prime Minister Deuba also conferred the Shankhadhar Medal on Kathmandu metropolis former mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya, Lalitpur Mayor Chiribabu Maharjan, writer Tilak Prakash Kayastha, lyricist Pabitra Kasah and journalist Sugatratna Sindurakar.