PAANCHTHAR, Nov 27: With a significant number of female election officers and security personnel, the polling center at Sumnima Chowk of Phidim-3 was considered an exemplary polling center of the district until the political parties played the spoilsport. The view seen outside the polling center on Sunday was quite unexpected and against ethical practice. The voters participating in Sunday's parliamentary and provincial elections were provided with tea and lunch facilities by the parties to influence the voters.
However, this not the only polling center in the district where these kinds of offerings were made to the voters. In fact, this became a common strategy of the political parties in various parts of the district. Voters were invited to various hotels and restaurants near the polling centers where they were offered lavish feasts. As per the locals, most of such gatherings were organized by the candidates of the left alliance. But the candidates of Nepali Congress (NC) were also seen organizing such gatherings in some parts of the district. Some of the candidates were also accused of bribing the voters especially during the 'silent period'. Besides that, the candidates kept breaching the laws even during elections.
A voter in Phidim-2 informed that he was provided with a lunch coupon after the elections. A large number of goats and chicken were slaughtered in the district by the parties for organizing feasts for the voters. They even managed drinks for them. But this is not the first time that parties have tried to tempt the poor and underprivileged voters in return for food and money. This practice is widely prevalent in each election.
Manoj KC, chief election officer of the district, informed that organizing such kinds of feasts is unethical during elections and no candidate should do so. Despite being warned by the District Election Office, parties still tried to buy votes by offering transportation charge, lunch and other facilities to the locals.