April 17, 2023 03:00 PM NPT
By: Arun Bam
KATHMANDU, April 17: A 21-year-old Pratiksha Adhikari from Bharatpur Metropolitan City-11, Bhojahat, Chitwan, has been called names on social media for saying that she will not vote for Rabi Lamichhane, chairman of the Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), in the upcoming by-election.
Kapurbot Media interviewed Adhikari a few days ago about the election situation in Chitwan-2. In the interview, she said that she had voted for RSP in the November 20 election and said that she would not vote again. Commenting that Chairman Lamichhane is a 'tourist', she had said that she will vote for Nepali Congress candidate Jit Narayan Shrestha.
Just because Adhikari had expressed such feelings, the Lamichhane’s supporters and cadres have gone wild on social media. These supporters are expressing dissatisfaction with Adhikari by commenting ‘Heartfelt condolences’ as well as hurling obscenities in vulgar language on social media. “It has become difficult for me to get out of my home. These people are cursing and swearing on me,” Adhikari said. “How much money did you talk about? They ask. How can they build the country when they speak so low to someone who expresses her opinion?”
After Lamichhane's supporters commented harshly on the same video of Adhikari, Kapurbot Media has now removed the video from social media.
Similarly, Sujana Malla of Kalika Municipality in Chitwan is in the same situation as Adhikari. She also expressed her views on Kapurbot media and said that she will vote for CPN-UML candidate Ram Prasad Neupane instead of RSP’s Lamichhane.
After saying this, Lamichhane's supporters also attacked her on social media at an obscene level. The video of the interview with Malla has also been removed by Kapurbot Media after the supporters hurled insults at her.
These are just a few examples. As soon as someone expresses their opinion against Lamichhane and RSP, the supporters on social media descend to the lowest level and start hurling insults. If someone passes the critical comments, content and analysis of Lamichhane and RSP, low-level 'comments' such as brokers, scumbags, traitors etc. start pouring in. They try to discourage women by making degrading and sexual comments as well.
Increasing anarchy among supporters
The RSP supporters are getting more and more anarchic as they are using obscene language on social media. A mob of his supporters is causing chaos from social media to the streets. One such example can be taken of the incident in front of the office at Teku in District Police Complex Kathmandu on Sunday.
Yuvraj Paudel of Sindhuli, who filed a petition at the Supreme Court on the citizenship and passport dispute against Lamichhane, reached the police complex office on Sunday. As soon as he got there, he was surrounded by a crowd of Lamichhane supporters including YouTubers. Some people in the crowd tried to physically attack Paudel stating that the RSP chairman was an 'ideal politician'.
Until then, the police tried to resolve the dispute. In the video, it is seen that the police had to work hard to save Paudel. "When the crowd grew, the situation was brought under control only after Poudel was taken away from there, put in a vehicle and sent outside," said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dan Bahadur Karki.
According to Paudel, Lamichhane's supporters are trying to attack him everywhere. “Attacks are being made on me everywhere. I have found out that there is a plan to kill me,” he said, “But I am not a person who is afraid of such chaotic, lawless people and their supporters. I will continue my work.”
Who runs social media?
According to the claim of Durga Prasain, a medical entrepreneur who is involved in the audiotape scandal of the suspended MP Dhaka Kumar Shrestha of RSP, the crowd is being run from the secretariat of RSP Chairman Lamichhane. He has made such comments in the media and public events.
“There is a crowd of 20/25 people in Rabi Lamichhane's secretariat. Each person has made several fake IDs,” he said in an interview, “If someone protests against Lamichanne, they write comments such as ‘rest in peace’ and ‘good luck’ in their post. Hundreds of comments are made within a minute. This does not happen anywhere else in the world.”
Whether what Prasain says is true or not, most of the IDs that rise to obscene levels seem to be 'fake accounts'; which is in the hundreds of numbers.