'RJPN's participation in polls has eased security situation'
BHAIRAHAWA, June 21: The local administration in Rupandehi has concluded that the poll-opposing Rastriya Janata Party Nepal's (RJPN) participation in the upcoming local level elections as independent candidates has made providing security during the polls easier in the district.
As stated by the District Security Committee, the filing of nominations by the cadres and leaders of RJPN as independent candidates has helped to create an environment favorable for the elections slated for June 28. Earlier, the RJPN had announced to boycott the elections until their demands were addressed. The party was making every single effort to foil the elections, making the locals as well as the government doubt RJPN's participation in the elections. However, RJPN leaders and cadres have filed their nominations for the upcoming elections as independent candidates in three rural municipalities and one municipality.
As informed by Binod Prakash Singh, chief district officer (CDO) and coordinator of DSC, the filing of nominations by RJPN leaders and cadres has come as a great relief for many.
Earlier, the DSC had marked as many as 75 polling booths in the district as 'extremely sensitive' in terms of security as RJPN, which has a good hold in these areas, had announced to disrupt the polls. But now RJPN cadres are going to contest the elections.
Locals hope that RJPN's participation will help to conduct the elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner. “Earlier, the RJPN was a great threat to the polls,” said a local of Lumbini Cultural Municipality, “But now we are happy to see them take part in poll activities, trying to woo the voters.”
Among the 208 polling booths in the district, only 94 were listed as non-sensitive and the rest were marked as sensitive and extremely sensitive.
According to CDO Singh, there is still threat to the polls in the southern parts of Rupandehi from the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist and the CK Raut group. Besides that, the open border with India is also a challenge, he adds.
“We have been trying our best to prevent any untoward incident by these groups,” said Singh, adding, “We would like to urge the voters to actively and fearlessly participate in the local elections which are going to be held after a hiatus of almost 20 years.”
According to Singh, a joint team of Indian and Nepali security personnel has been deployed in the border area.
In order to ensure security during the elections, as many as 6,000 Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, temporary police and other security personnel have been mobilized in the district. There are altogether 462, 546 voters in Rupandehi. This district has 16 local units - one sub metropolis, five municipalities and 10 rural municipalities.