Difficult Jumla terrain does not deter poll campaigns

Published On: November 1, 2017 07:25 AM NPT By: DB Buda

JUMLA, Nov 1: With just 25 days left for the parliamentary and provincial elections of November 26, candidates nominated by political parties to contest the upcoming elections have already entered villages to spearhead their elections campaign. Despite the difficult topography, such promotional activities have been a common sight in many of the local units of Jumla district.

Candidates fielded by various political parties have started a mission to pacify the disgruntled cadres and mobilize other cadres in their election campaigns. They all are busy promoting their election agendas.

The ruling Nepali Congress (NC), which has historically remained the largest party of Nepal so far, is gearing up to give a tough challenge to the recently formed left alliance, compromising of the main opposition CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center).
The left alliance has fielded Gajendra Bahadur Mahat for the parliamentary elections in Jumla. 

“I'm contesting the elections to protect democracy and bring economic prosperity,” he said, adding that he would work in the fields of education, health, transportation, agriculture and industrial development.

Claiming that the country has entered a new age, Mahat further added that only the left alliance can fulfill the developmental needs now.

NC candidate Devendara Bahadur Shahi is expected to give a tough challenge to the left alliance. Stating that the NC has played a big role in the development of Jumla, Shahi believes his party would easily emerge victorious in the elections. He did not refrain himself from throwing accusations at the communist alliance.

The major challenge for NC in Jumla is the difficulties to come together with cadres of its alliance at the lowest level. Although the party has formed alliance with various democratic forces at the central level, cadres in ground have not wholeheartedly accepted is and still harbor ill feelings against each other.

NC is working hard to overcome the hurdle and is campaigning to pacify the disgruntled cadres. Candidates and leaders of NC are also working to pull disgruntled cadres of the left alliance toward them. They have been meeting one disgruntled cadre after another.

Not just the parliamentary election, intense contest has ensued in the provincial elections as well. The left alliance has fielded Naresh Bhandari for area (a). He had emerged victorious in the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in 2008. His main opponent is NC's Raju Singh Kathayat.

Apart from the left alliance and NC, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) candidate Bishnu Datta Bhattarai, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Democratic candidate Devi Krishna Neupane and Shiva Lal Dagi of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) have also been nominated from the same area.

Similarly, in area (b), the left alliance has fielded Padam Bahadur Rokaya, who would be contesting against NC's Bhim Nidhi Hamal. This contest, too, is expected to be neck-to-neck. NWPP candidate Gorakh Bahadur Budha is also contesting from here.

Jumla has only constituency and a total of 59,058 registered voters for the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections, according to the Election Commission (EC) office in Jumla. 

The district had 87 polling centers in the last local elections. This time around, there are three additional polling centers in the district keeping in mind the voters' convenience due to difficult topography, according to Khum Bahadur Subedi, chief of the Jumla chapter of EC.

“The addition of polling centers would be a huge relief for voters who in the earlier elections faced troubles due to difficult topography,” he said.

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