GORKHA, April 7: The District Administration Office (DAO), Gorkha, has urged I/NGOs working in the district for post-earthquake reconstruction to pause their work until the local elections were held.
In a meeting organized by DAO, Jitendra Basnet, chief district officer (CDO), Gorkha informed the chiefs of various organizations not to do anything which obstructs the local level elections.
Addressing the chiefs of various I/NGOs, Basnet said, “As the public excitement for the elections has reached fever pitch, we don't want any obstructions. So we request you all to halt your programs for a while.”
In Gorkha, such organizations are conducting training programs, demonstrations, relief distribution and other programs. As informed by CDO Basnet, they have directed the I/NGOs to stop visiting communities, gathering people, planning and involving people in discussions and conducting training as that might just affect the environment of elections.
Many leaders of the political parties have reached the villages with their promotional campaigns. According to Basnet, if the voters are engaged in programs conducted by I/NGOs, that might affect the programs of such political parties which ultimately can lead to conflicts and controversies between organizations as well as parties. “The programs being run by various I/NGOsd are likely to affect the May 14 election. So, we asked them to halt their programs for a while,” Basnet said.
If such organizations are found going against the decision of the Election Commission (EC) and DAO, stern action will be taken against them, said District Election Officer Rajendra Prasad Pokharel. “Any program conducted without the permission of EC might affect the election. So, the I/NGOs must take that into consideration,” Pokharel added.
But, the chief of various I/NGOs present in the meeting lamented that if they pushed their projects further, they wouldn't be able to meet their deadlines and the budget might also be frozen. According to them if they won't conduct the training programs now, they might not be able to manage enough human resource for the reconstruction later.
Madhav Dhakal, Chief of Care Nepal urged DAO and EC to allow them at least to conduct extremely important programs. Some I/NGO representatives agreed to support the decision by co-operating with the government bodies to create favorable environment for the election. “As of now, our first priority is the election. So everyone needs to make their best effort to make it possible,” Dhakal said.
Meanwhile, political parties in Gorkha have requested not to make any financial and developmental agreements and deals, until the elections. They have even informed Local Development Minister Narayan Acharya not to make any financial deals until the elections.