Local level election

Overwhelming participation in polls despite bad weather

Published On: June 29, 2017 01:10 AM NPT By: Devendra Basnet

-Rain, heat did not deter voters
-Even people with disability participated enthusiastically 

DANG, June 29: There were thick clouds hovering in the sky Tuesday evening. Weather experts had forecast heavy rainfall for the next day morning. They were right. Heavy rainfall poured on Wednesday morning on the election day. People, including some disabled were upright at the polling center early morning in large  number. They said that the rain didn't deter them from casting vote. Local level election, which they were getting to participate in after nearly two decades, was more important than anything else, they stated. Holding umbrellas in their hands, the voters were waiting outside calmly to cast their votes said scores of their problems might come to an end once they get local representatives in the office. 

“Rain is simply nothing. We were ready to stand against anything for this day,” said Devi Maiya Gautam of Ghorahi Sub-metropolitan City. “This is a very important day for us,” she added. 

Some of the polling stations were submerged in water due to the rain. However, voters kept waiting patiently. According to Ramji Kusumya, a local of Rapti Rural Municipality, people were faced water till their knees on the way to the polling station as well as in the polling booths. Yet, they were determined to vote, he said. 

“In plain slipper and pants, we were drowned till the knees. It was not easy to get to the polling booth, there was water everywhere. However, I got to there, waited for my turn, voted and got back,” he stated. 

In the day time, the weather was equally bothering because of the heat. The scorching heat however did not lessen the voters' enthusiasm. According to a local of Tulasipur Sub-metropolitan City, she walked for an hour to reach the polling station to vote for her chosen candidate. “I would have avoided such heat during other times. But today, it was voting day. I walked out in so much heat and voted,” she said. “I feel relieved and happy,” she added. 

The weather was not favorable in Dang on Wednesday. Yet, even nursing mothers, elderly people and people with disabilities were seen at the polling stations. Bhagwati Khatri of Ghorahi - 14, who delivered a baby just a week ago stated that she was glad to take part in the election. “I reached to the polling booth with my husband and voted. I feel really great now,” she said. 

District Election Office has reported 70 percent voting in the elections in Dang. There were 291,173 registered voters. There are two sub-metropolitan cities, one metropolitan city and seven rural municipalities in Dang. 

“Public participation was overwhelming. People came and voted despite the bad weather,” noted Bijay Karki, chief election officer, Dang. 

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