October 28, 2017 07:23 AM NPT
By: Arun Bam
DOTI, Oct 27: News about the upcoming elections is on air all the time. Television and radio stations have hardly been talking about anything else. However, the people in the villages and towns of Doti are least excited. In fact, they question the credibility of the news about elections saying no one has come to their community asking for vote.
“If it was really election time, they would have come here. But so far, no candidate has stepped in our area,” said Kokila BK of Botgan Rural Municipality, “We are clueless about election and voting.”
Chakra Bahadur Chand of Badikedar Municipality-5 raised concern over the lack of voters' education. Due to the lack of voters' education, people's vote might go in vain, he said.
“Very few people here know about the provincial elections. Even lesser number knows how to vote. It's going to be challenging,” Chand remarked. “There is a sheer lack of election atmosphere,” he added.
According to the locals, political parties had launched door-to-door visits during earlier elections. They would boast of several achievements and make commitment for new development works. “This time, there has been nothing like this in our place. No movement of political parties. No colorful banners, pamphlets, and speeches. This is going to hit the number of voters I guess,” Chand further said.
BK and Chand, among other locals, wonder the reason behind the 'indifferent attitude' of the political parties. This has made them feel that the election might not be of much importance.
“Had it been a big election like those in the past, we would have seen a poll atmosphere. They say the election is in the month of Mangsir. Now, it's Kartik. Few days are left, yet no election related programs going on here,” BK said.
The lack of election related activities has made people feel less certain about the elections, they say.
Meanwhile, Dandiraj Ojha, a professor at Doti Multiple Campus, commented that the election fever is yet to grip the district as all the leaders are centered in Kathmandu. “They have not landed here yet. So, we see no election fervor here,” he said. “They are still struggling to finalize the list of candidates. There is a fierce competition for tickets,” he added.
There's time for voters' education: EC
District Election Officer Nandiraj Ojha said that there are still three weeks left for the election office to conduct voter education programs. The materials needed for such programs have not yet reached the district, he said. “Only after the third week of the Nepali month of Kartik, we will be going with such programs. The materials have not arrived yet. Other preparations also need to be made,” he said. “Selection of trainers is going on,” he added.
According to Ojha, there will be 157 election education officers for as many polling stations in the district.