ITAHARI, May 25: Even as the second round of local level election is just round the corner, too many aspirants have made picking candidates challenging for the major political parties in Sunsari. As a result, they are compelled to conduct their promotional campaigns without the presence of candidates.
The government has fixed June 14 as the election date for provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7. Though there are just 20 days left for the election, the parties still do not have their candidates for the polls. In the absence of candidates, political leaders and cadres are conducting door-to-door visits by themselves so as to woo the voters but they remain clueless when asked about the candidates.
Four days ago, when the cadres and leaders of CPN-UML were wooing voters in Ward 7 of Itahari, the locals asked the same question, “Where are the candidates?” On Wednesday, the same question was asked to the leaders of Nepali Congress (NC) when they were visiting the houses of locals to seek votes.
Unlike them, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) has already chosen its candidates for the post of mayor, deputy mayor and other minor posts as well. RPP has been visiting the locals along with their candidates. Similarly, CPN (Maoist Centre) has also chosen its candidates and has even intensified its programs in various parts.
According to Hem Karna Poudel, an aspiring candidate from NC for the mayoral post of Itahari Sub-metropolitan City, the party has been facing a hard time in the absence of candidates. “The delay in choosing the candidates is making it difficult for us to seek votes,” said Poudel, adding “It has somehow reduced the excitement of elections.”
In comparison to other parties, CPN (Maoist Centre) seemed quick in terms of finalizing candidates. CPN-UML has not yet fielded its candidates in various parts. Though the party has been held several meetings to finalize its candidates, it has failed to do so. It has been really challenging for the party to pick its mayoral candidates especially for Itahari Sub-metropolitan City.
Meanwhile, NC has already chosen its mayoral candidates for Dharan and Itahari but it is yet to field candidates for other posts. As informed by District Chairperson of NC Rajiv Koirala, the party is trying its best to select candidates within two days.
Nepal Loktantrik Forum and many other Madhes-based parties have also fielded their candidates for various posts.
Though there were 12 local units in Sunsari, just two days ago, the government made a decision to add two more. The locals have expressed disappointment over this decision.
They have even submitted a memorandum to the District Administration Office (DAO) showing their dissatisfaction over the government's decision.
Now, there are two sub-metropolitan cities, four municipalities and eight rural municipalities in Sunsari. As many as 21,151 voters are expected to participate in the local elections in the district.