December 12, 2017 02:38 AM NPT
After winning a seat in the House of Representatives from constituency 3 of Mahottari, coordinator of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), Mahantha Thakur is on cloud nine. Thakur was successful in winning the poll with a huge margin of votes. While thanking his supporters for their votes, Thakur said that his victory is incomparable and he has no words to express his happiness. Republica’s district correspondent Mahesh Kumar Das spoke to Thakur about his stunning victory and future agendas. Excerpts:
How do you feel after being elected?
I am extremely happy and the enthusiasm and excitement seen in the locals after my victory has elated me even more.
You got nearly twice as many votes as your closest rival. How did it become possible?
Yes, people have shown a great attraction toward RJPN. But the poll results are an indication that Madhesi people in recent years have become more concerned about Madhes.
How challenging was it for you to contest the election from this constituency?
Despite being born in Mahottari, I spent most of my life outside of here. So, there was a great attraction among the people toward me. Wherever I went for my campaign, I was warmly welcomed by the people. They were all positive about my candidacy. So, winning was not a challenge for me.
What were the major demands and expectations of the people during the door-to-door campaigns?
Most of the people complained about the land encroachment by Manipal College, sluggish development projects, and lack of irrigation facilities, among others. When I reached Bhairahawa and Matihani, the flood victims shared their miseries due to the lack of embankments and urged me to do something for that. All their complaints were fair enough.
What are your future plans and agendas?
Amendment of the constitution is our first agenda because that’s what the people want.
CPN-UML is against the amendment of the constitution and it’s impossible for us to do it on our own. It is challenging but we are determined to do it this time. Besides that, there are some changes that we would like to make in terms of restructuring. We are really not satisfied with 14 of our districts merged with mountainous districts. Economic prosperity is our second agenda.
What are the major development plans for constituency 3?
As per the development indicators, our constituency is lagging behind in terms of education, health and transportation. So, we are planning to conduct cleanliness and sanitation programs, train skilled manpower, increase agro-production and construct roads.
How will you solve the problem of poverty and unemployment?
Poverty is soaring not just in our constituency but in whole Madhes. This is a sign of danger as it might disturb the peace of the whole country. At first we will try to uplift the living standard of people and then make other changes.
What was the reason behind mentioning the tradition of gifting gold in weddings in RJPN’s manifesto?
Even in this 21st century, female literacy is extremely disappointing in Madhes. We want our daughters to at least complete their high school education. So, we are actually encouraging women to complete their education even after marriage by giving them a gold chain. If they are unable to continue their education due to financial reasons, they can sell the chain and invest in their education. But a lot of people misinterpreted it.