'Lavish feasts can't buy our votes'

Published On: November 19, 2017 02:30 AM NPT By: Dhruba Dangal

SINDHUPALCHOWK, Nov 19: On Saturday, some Majhi youths of Jamune village of Sindhupalchowk were found placing flags of various political parties in their tents. Some others were found sticking pamphlets and banners of parties in Eklebesi. The colorful decorations on walls and public places clearly show that the Majhi community is desperately waiting for the parliamentary and provincial elections slated for November 26.

It seems that the election fever has gripped the indigenous Majhi people, a minority tribe. Though they are yet to decide which candidate to vote for, they want all candidates at least to make a visit to their community. According to the locals, they will first listen to the ideas and agendas of all candidates and then make their decision. 
"There were times when we were obliged to sell our votes for a little money, food and drinks but no more," said 70-year old Sita Majhi, adding, "No lavish dinner and branded drinks can tempt us now." According to her, poverty has been a great problem for the Majhi people and that is the reason why politicians have been using them just as vote banks. 

Recently, senior leader and chairperson of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Prajatantrik (RPP-P) Pashupati Shamsher Rana interacted with Sita and other locals of her community during one of his poll campaigns. Rana, who is contesting the parliamentary elections from Sindhupalchowk-1, was the first candidate to visit the locals here.

After sharing his development plans and agendas, Rana and his team left the village but none of the voters said anything. In the past elections too, a lot of leaders pledged to make vast improvements in their lives but none of their lofty promises turned into reality. This has not just irked the people here but also created a negative impression of politicians.
There are more than 200 households of of Majhi people in Jamune, Bhimtar, Eklebesi and Mahadevsthan of the district. This community is lagging behind in terms of various aspects such as education, health, access to drinking water among others. "The locals are greatly disappointed by the leaders and politicians," said 41-year old Tej Bahdur Majhi.
They had houses in the name of assets but the homes of some of them were destroyed in the catastrophic earthquake of 2015. Almost all the local don't have their own land for farming. Locals are obliged to travel in dusty roads as none of the roads is blacktopped. The school building where more than 200 Majhi children study was destroyed by the earthquake and is yet to be reconstructed.
  Ganesh Majhi, the first person to pass SLC from this community is now teaching at a local school. Since 1999, only 20 Majhi students have been able to pass SLC. With the changing times, the locals here have been more aware about their rights and responsibilities.  

However, this is not the first time that the Majhis have shown such unity for the elections. In the recently concluded local elections too, they all joined hands to make Sushil Majhi, a candidate of their locality win, and succeeded in doing so.

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