June 25, 2017 07:58 AM NPT
KHOTANG, June 24: Amsher Rai of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality-3, Dalfu can hardly move from one place to another due to his old age. It has been almost nine years since he has not visited ward office for which he needs to walk for more than one hour. Rai, who cannot walk without his stick even inside his own house, is not much aware about the ward members. But the local elections, announced after a hiatus of 20 years has finally brought those candidates to his home.
His old weather-beaten hut is often visited by the political party leaders and cadres of various political parties like Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center) among others. These days, there are enough people to ask, care and sympathize about his health. According to Rai, party leaders and candidates are trying to persuade him by assuring to provide various promises. “I had never seen them before,” he said adding, “I told him that I can't walk to the polling station to cast vote but they said they will carry me there.”
Similarly, Hem Bahadur Darji of Ainselukharka Rural Municipality, 5, Raitole is busy welcoming guests of various political parties at his home almost everyday. He says he had never seen them earlier in the village.
“I had never seen them visiting the houses of the poor villagers and showing so much of concern,” informed Darji.
According to him, locals are determined to vote for genuine candidates who are willing to change the development scenario of their village. “All the candidates are trying their best to persuade us to vote for them but that's not enough,” said Darji adding, “After waiting for so long, we have got the opportunity to exercise our voting rights in the local elections and we can't let it go to waste as every vote counts.”
Election candidates are making their days and nights together to woo more number of voters. But this has not really impressed the locals. “They come here only for votes and once they get elected and even if they don't they will never return back,” said Cham Bahadur Majhi of Lamidanada Rural Municipality-3, Majhigaun. “It's the same leaders who come to our home joining their hands and with their heads down but after the elections they will again be strangers to us,” Majhi added.
Locals have accused the candidates and party leaders for being selfish and using people only as vote banks. Most of the leaders never return back once they are elected to higher posts, say the locals. According to experts, the behavior shown by former candidates and political party leaders has developed negative impact on the locals regarding political parties and their leaders. They can hardly trust anyone.