Both absentees 'undergoing treatment' in Indian hospitals
DANG, Feb 7: Two voters were absent during voting for the National Assembly members in Dang of Province 5 on Wednesday.
Provincial Assembly member Bina Panta of Rupandehi and Istayak Ahmad Shah, chairman of Narainapur Rural Municipality, remained absent in the election.
A total of 303 votes were cast while the total number of eligible voters was 305. The two who remained absent both are undergoing treatment in hospitals in India, which prevented them from participating in the election.
According to Ajay Barma, Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) chairman of Rupandehi, the party's provincial member Pant is currently undergoing treatment in Lucknow of India.
Pant also failed to be present during the oath-taking ceremony of the Provincial Assembly. “She remained absent in the oath-taking ceremony and election due to bad health. It cannot be taken as anything caused by intra-party rift,” said Barma.
Pant is a relative of RJPN leader Sarbendra Nath Shukla. It is said that central leaders are dissatisfied with Shukla on pushing to make his own relative a provincial parliament member while snubbing candidates who have contributed more to the party, according to sources.
Another absentee, Istayak Shah of Banke is also said to be undergoing treatment in Lucknow. According to Jayanti Devi Shriwastav, vice chairperson of Narainapur Rural Municipality, Shah was admitted to Lucknow Hospital last Friday for a 'surgery'.
“He was unable to cast his vote due to illness. He still has not been discharged from the hospital as doctors have suggested him to take adequate rest after surgery,” she said.
However, Republica has not been able to obtain proof that they are indeed undergoing treatment in Indian hospital and that their absence is genuine.
Some have criticized absence of voters in such a big election as being irresponsible. Dadhi Ram Neupane, a member of the provincial parliament of Rupandehi, said such absence and negligence would make the general public develop negative perception toward overall politics.