Ruling alliance distributing tarpaulins to influence voters during election silence
November 18, 2022 07:30 PM NPT
By: Lalit Bista
KALIKOT, Nov 18: The ruling alliance has been found to have distributed tarpaulins in Kalikot district while observing election silence, which critics say is against the election code of conduct.
The ruling alliance’s candidate for the House of Representative Mahendra Bahadur Shahi is alleged to have distributed tarpaulins to the families whose houses were destroyed by rainfall in Palata Rural Municipality more than one month after the disaster.
Lilaraj Sajyal, a local resident of Raskot, said that the tarpaulins were distributed one month and 11 days after the damage caused by the rainfall. Sajyal said that Bishnu Bahadur Rokaya, who was elected the chairman of the rural municipality from the Maoist Center, and Man Bahadur Sunar, a member of the Maoist ward committee of Ward-9, distributed tarpaulins on behalf of Shahi during the silent period.
"When I went to Palata for a specific purpose, I noticed a group of people who were distributing tarpaulins. I took a picture upon seeing two to five tarpaulins being distributed to one person. Those who were distributing the materials said their candidate was hoping for votes,” said Sajyal.
He said that the Maoist cadres threatened him and asked him to remove the pictures after they saw him taking the pictures. Sajyal told Republica that the deleted photos went to the recycle bin of his mobile phone and have been restored now. “I have made those photos public after recovering them,” added Sajyal.
It is a serious violation of the election code of conduct to distribute the tarpaulins to people on behalf of the poll candidate after the commencement of the silent period.
Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kalikot Ramhari Sharma said that he was unaware regarding this matter. He said that he will seek information about the issue from the district police chief. It is considered unethical to distribute cash or kind or to influence any voter during elections. But in Palata Rural Municipality of Kalikot, the elected rural municipality chairperson himself is distributing tarpaulins on behalf of his party's candidate.