People take to social media against deferral

Published On: June 16, 2017 08:07 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 15: The government’s decision to defer the local election in Province 2 yet again has drawn flak from people across the country. 

Although a section of people has supported the move, many have taken to social media including Twitter and Facebook to vent their ire against the decision of the government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba.

People, who had ‘high expectations’, hoping that  Deuba would prove himself ‘competent’ as he began his fourth stint as the prime minister on June 6, have termed the poll deferral decision in only one province as ‘the start of his failure’. “Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had received the fourth opportunity to correct his past mistakes. But he has failed terribly within seven days in office,” said Maya Ghimire on Facebook, referring to Deuba-led government’s poll deferral decision. 

The government on Thursday rescheduled the local elections in Province 2 for September 18.

While most have termed the move ‘short-sighted’, people hailing from Province 2 have accused the Deuba government of depriving them of their voting right. “I am a citizen of Province 2. I know what this province is like. Along with tens of thousands of people living here, my participation in each element, event and process to determine the future is equally important,” wrote Nivesh Kumar on Facebook. 

“Please go to Province 2 to know on which date the people want the election. If you want to save the dignity of democracy, do hold the election on June 28 itself,” Kumar further wrote, while venting his ire against a few Madhesi leaders playing with the future of millions of people living in Province 2.

Echoing Kumar, Manish Jha took to the Twitter to express his dissatisfaction against the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal’s movement that caused poll deferral. “I am a Madhesi. The fight for dignity and rights of the Madhesi people is my fight too. But I do not support Rastriya Janata Party’s protest,” said Jha on Twitter. 

The government’s decision to defer the local poll only in Province 2 has also sparked fear among ordinary citizens that this could eventually transform the region into a perennial conflict zone. “Deferring the election in one particular province or a territory of a province is the preparation to create another Kashmir so that we stay in perennial conflict,” posted Madhu Sudan Panthi on Facebook. 

Panthi has urged the government and the ruling parties to forge consensus with the agitating parties and hold the election in one go. “There is still time. Let’s reach consensus and hold the election in one go,” said Panthi. 

However, some have suggested that the government’s decision should not be construed negatively. 

Bikash Thakur argued that there is nothing wrong in holding the local poll in Province 2 in the third phase. He added that there is a practice of holding elections in the Indian states in up to seven phases. “Elections there are held in up to seven phases. But those provinces never disintegrate. The territories of provinces do not change. Then what difference does it make if the election is held in three phases in Nepal or in two phases in Madhes itself?” Thakur wrote on Facebook.

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