ILAM, Feb 28: Thirty-five-year-old Bijay Limbu of Chamaut never gets a chance to cast votes in local elections although he voted twice in the Constituent Assembly elections. Like many other locals, he is eagerly waiting to participate in the local elections to be held nearly after two decades.
“As this would be my first experience, I am very much excited about it,” said Limbu. According to him, local elections can really bring some positive changes in the VDC. “Many development projects have been delayed and left incomplete as everyone keeps blaming each other instead of taking the responsibility,” he lamented.
“In the upcoming local elections of May 14, 2017 the villagers are willing to choose a capable candidate who will not just forward these projects but will also find out irregularities of the projects conducted in the past,” he added.
As all the small VDCs will be merged into a large village council, he thinks a person representing it must be a good leader who is well qualified too.
Since the government announced the dates for the elections, people from various corners of the village have shown their interest to cast votes.
“Elections have never been less than a festival for us but the only difference now is that we don't see flags of political parties hanging from houses like in the past,” said Bir Bahadur Akten, a local of Fikkal. He shared how elections fever has gripped the locals.
In the absence of elected people's representatives, locals had to face lots of difficulties. As the wishes of the locals used to clash with the ideas of the planners, the projects ended nowhere. There are many examples of controversies and disputes raised due to financial irregularities while carrying out development activities. But after the appointment of people's representatives, locals are hopeful that such problems won't arise in the future.
District Election Office of Ilam has been giving training to teachers of the district about election. Those teachers in turn will share the information with the students and locals of their respective villages. This training has been aimed toward upgrading the knowledge of people regarding local elections and also creating a favorable environment for the elections.
Earlier in the second Constitutional Assembly elections, 126 polling stations and 244 polling centers were set up in the district.