KHOTANG, Oct 23: As the Election Commission (EC) had set October 22, the day after Bhaitika, as the date for filing nominations, candidates participating in the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections flocked the district headquarters of Khotang, Diktel on Sunday, the very next day of the auspicious festival.
While most of the candidates have reached the district headquarters, some are on their way. Among the candidates, Rajan Rai who will be contesting in the provincial elections from the CPN-UML from constituency no. 1 of Khotang and Bishal Bhattarai, the candidate vying for parliamentary elections from the same party are yet to reach the district headquarters.
The candidates who were busy celebrating Bhaitika with their sisters in Kathmandu had to immediately rush to Diktel after parties confirmed them as their candidates. The candidates gathered in the office of Chief Election Officer (CEO) in Diktel at around 4 pm to register their candidacies on Sunday.
Many of them lamented that they could not celebrate Tihar properly due to the nomination rush. According to Bishnu Kumar Rai who has been picked by the Nepali Congress (NC) for contesting in the provincial elections from constituency no.2, this year many candidates like him were unable to enjoy Tihar, the second greatest festival of Hindus as they had to hurry up for the preparations of elections. "We were obliged to run towards the office of CEO with our fresh garlands and Tika," he said.
In rural parts of the country, people celebrate Tihar by playing Deusi and Bhailo even after two days of Bhaitika. But none of the candidates could participate in such programs nor were they lucky enough to watch others doing so due to the nominations. Many of them accused the EC of not being sensible while fixing the date for filing nomination. "We were in Kathmandu when the party assured us to provide the ticket. After receiving Tika, we had to immediately leave for Diktel to register our candidacy, "said Bhattarai who was on his way on Sunday.
As per the details provided by the CEO's office, parties like NC, CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist- Centre), Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), Naya Shakti Nepal will participate in the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections which will be conducted simultaneously on November 26 and December 7.