RAJBIRAJ, May 30: Despite having a keen desire to take part in the elections like all other Nepalis, locals of Saptari fear that they might lose the opportunity to exercise their voting right in the historic elections announced after two decades.
Though there is less than a month left for the elections, locals in many parts of Saptari are still doubtful whether they will be able to drop their votes in the local level elections.
The successful holding of the first phase of local election has raised hopes among the locals of Tarai. But the ongoing protests, disputes and political clashes have left them stressed. Tension ran very high in all the 17 local units of the district including the headquarters Rajbiraj, since early morning on Tuesday as well. The cadres of agitating Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJPN) reached the local units to padlock the government offices.
Even though the locals are eagerly waiting to cast their votes in the historic elections, they fear the demands of various Madhes-based parties could hold them back.
A major clash broke out between the cadres of RJPN after the party tried to encircle the office of Chief Election Officer in Rajbiraj. The conflict continued for the whole days and some cadres sustained injuries during the clash.
This has made the locals worried for elections. “How long will we have to deal with this uncertainty?” the locals often ask the agitating Madhes-based parties. Locals have expressed their happiness over the decision by Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) led by Upendra Yadav and Nepal Democratic Forum (NDF) led by Bijay Kumar Gachhadar for finally agreeing to take part in the elections. However, the newly formed party RJPN is still against elections.
According to the locals, all parties should utilize the opportunity which has been offered after 20 years. “We have been tired of political uncertainties and it is no more acceptable to us,” said Dayakanta Jha, a teacher of Koilagadi Rural Municipality. “We are waiting for all parties to come to agreement for the sake of people who are desperate to cast their votes,” he added. According to him, if the major political parties have any sympathy for the locals of tarai, they must address the demands of the Madhesi parties to reach consensus.