KASKI, Oct 30: Every year before the end of October, a majority of houses in Mustang are empty with most of the locals migrating temporarily to the 'plains' (Beni, Pokhara, Kushma) in order to escape extreme cold. Surprisingly, this year almost all Mustang locals are still in their homes waiting to take part in the upcoming federal and provincial polls slated for November 26.
Locals are eager to participate in the much-anticipated polls which have been announced for the first time in the Nepali history. The people of Mustang have been counting the days to vote and this is the reason they will be moving towards plains only after November. Though it has already started snowing in some parts of Mustang, they will move to their destinations for winter only after a month.
They have completed harvesting their crops and it's already time to sell them in the market but the locals are in no rush as they think election is far more important than their business. Locals of Mustang are very excited as they will get two new representatives one from provincial and the other from parliamentary elections.
Despite increased cold, villagers are all set to make the elections successful by participating in them. After registering their candidacies, candidates vying for various posts have started making door-to-door visits to the locals.
According to Indradhara Dhadu Bista, a CPN-UML candidate for the provincial election, the parties are trying their best to keep the voters in their villages at least till the elections. “We are trying our best to convince them about the importance of these elections and to a great extent we have been successful in doing so,” he said, adding, “Being unable to tolerate the biting cold, some people have moved towards the plains but they have promised to come for the elections.” The mass gatherings and parties conducted by parties have created a great impact on locals.
The district's Chief Election Officer Ram Chandra Tiwari informed Republica that many people are still unaware of the importance of elections due to which some have preferred their business to elections and moved towards the city areas. “If the Election Commission could create more awareness among the locals, number of people would be participating in the elections,” he said.