KATHMANDU, Oct 16: While Dashain has been an opportunity for those living away from their families to meet them and celebrate it together, the greatest festival of Hindus has also been an opportunity for lawmakers to meet party cadres and voters in their respective constituencies.
Most lawmakers have left the Kathmandu Valley to celebrate the festival with their families and grab an opportunity to meet party cadres and voters in their constituencies. As people residing out of their villages for work, study or business throng their home villages during the major festival, politicians find it as an ideal opportunity to meet all their voters, hear their grievances and stay connected with them.
Many lawmakers remain busy becoming chief guests or guests at various functions organized in their constituencies during the Dashain. Even non-Hindu lawmakers also return to their constituencies during Dashain to attend greeting exchange functions and meet their voters.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Attahar Kamal Musalman is also busy in his home district Kapilvastu attending various functions organized to mark the Dashain festival and inaugurate temples. “I am busy inaugurating Hindu temples, especially those of Goddess Durga, who is worshiped in Dashain, for the last few days. Though I am a Muslim, I receive tika at my in-laws' place because they are Hindu,” said Musalman. Even though his community doesn't celebrate Dashain, Musalman remains busy meeting locals and cadres of his party in his home district during the Hindu festival.
Independent lawmaker Chakka Bahadur Lama is planning to visit his home district Humla for Dashain just to meet his voters and cadres as they return to their villages for the festival. “Although I don't celebrate Dashain, I am going to my home district Humla for Dashain. This is a good opportunity to visit my constituency. It is not possible to meet all in a few days. But I can manage to visit many villages of my constituency during the Dashain and Tihar vacation in parliament,” he said.
Parliament session has been prorogued just ahead of Dashain festival and the next session is expected to begin only after Chhath festival. Nepali communities celebrate Dashain, Tihar, Nepal Sambat and Chhath within a month's time between October and November. Lawmakers also receive allowances to go back to their constituencies after the prorogation of the parliament session and also to return to Kathmandu before the beginning of the next session.
Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Yagya Raj Sunuwar visits his constituency every year during Dashain and holds meetings with the locals, voters, cadres and attends cultural, sports and greeting exchange functions. “I attended six functions on Sunday alone, apart from interactions with the locals and voters. Although I did not celebrate Dashain last year as my mother had passed away, I didn't miss the opportunity to visit my constituency,” said Sunuwar.
Some lawmakers have, however, planned to stay in Kathmandu during Dashain. NCP lawmaker Nabina Lama has been planning to visit her parents after receiving tika from her in-laws. “This is my first Dashain after marriage and there will be lots of rituals to be followed. So I am planning to celebrate Dashain in Kathmandu. I have to visit my parents and in-laws as they are also in Kathmandu,” she said.