BANKE, June 17: At a time when the agitating Madhes-based political parties are intensifying their protests leading to election deferral time and again, the people in Madhes have termed the protests 'highly unnecessary', saying that they want elections.
Among many local units, people in Duduwa Rural Municipality, which is just 15 kilometer south-east of Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan of Banke district, have been calling for elections. The locals - a majority of them being of Madhes-origin - have shown a keen interest in the local elections and are critical of the poll-opposing protests led by the agitating Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN).
“We need the changes that the local elections could bring about. Instead, the Madhesi parties which claim to resonate our voices are protesting to pressurize the government to fulfill their self-centered demands that do not benefit us in any way,” said a local, seeking anonymity. “We need the polls now, not protests,” the local stressed.
Another local, Parshu Ram Maurya, 45, has been annoyed after the election originally scheduled for May 14 was postponed time and again. The local polls have already been deferred four times.
“This is getting way out of control. Why do they need to postpone the poll that is happening after the gap of so many years?” he expressed his annoyance, adding that deferring the election time and again will do the people no good.
Maurya, who became disabled at the young age of 27, further said that election deferrals have added to the woes of people like him. “The ward secretary has been denying us our allowances citing the elections. The deferral of the elections only makes us wait longer to receive our disabled-support allowances. For that reason too, we are desperate for elections to happen soon.”
Even the onset of monsoon has not deterred the voters who would be busy in farming during the election time. “As we are finally getting a chance to elect our own local representatives, we will leave our farm works and go to cast our votes,” added Maurya.
Like most of the people of the area, another local, Munnal Burma, is not happy with RJPN's poll-disruption campaigns and protests. “Protests are being held in Madhes for a long time now. But now as we crave for change, Madhesi parties have to answer this question - do they want to continue with their protests or walk on the path of development?”