ROLPA, Dec 22: Ganga Oli, the wife of Bir Bahadur Khatri, the chairperson of Sukidaha Rural Municipality, died during the Maoist insurgency. His relative Dev Bahadur Oli also met the same fate. Now, when the renaming of the rural municipality is under consideration, Khatri wants it to be named after his dead wife and relative. He has proposed to rename the rural municipality as 'Ganga Dev Rural Municipality'.
Similarly, the headquarters of the municipality is also going to be relocated from Sukha Odar to Saandanda. The proposal was recently passed by a two-thirds majority of the rural municipal council. And this has triggered a serious dispute.
“There are many martyrs. Many lost their lives during the conflict. So, we are not for choosing particular names that way. It will be unfair to other martyrs and their families,” noted Roshan Oli, who had also contested the local election but lost it to Khatri. “Naming the rural municipality after someone's wife is simply an act of a king. We don't want kings here,” he added.
Locals have also accused that relocating the headquarters of the rural municipality is also not a fair move. They have accused that the decision had been taken at the behest of the land mafia. “Land mafia has plotted a large swathe of land in the rural municipality. Now the rural municipality chief wants to relocate the headquarters of the rural municipality in order to benefit the mafia,” Oli claimed.
Dissatisfied by the rural municipality's decisions, locals padlocked the rural municipality office on Friday. They have warned Khatri not to change the name of the rural municipality. “The current name Sukidaha is okay for everyone. There is no need to change it. The rural municipality has been named Sukidaha after a tourist spot,” Oli argued.
Meanwhile, Khatri refuted the charge that the locals are against his decision. He said that the new name is derived from the names of martyrs. “There is no dispute,” he asserted. “And similarly, the issue of relocating the rural municipality's headquarters has not triggered any controversy, either. It was not my sole decision. It was passed by a two-thirds majority,” he added. He further said that the dissatisfaction expressed by 'one or two persons' will not affect the decision.
Unlike he claimed, several ward members of the rural municipality said that the new name is not acceptable. Requesting anonymity, they said that there is no logic in naming a rural municipality after someone's dead wife. “There are so many other martyrs. Why make her special? We love the present name of the rural municipality,” a ward member said.