SURKHET, Nov 24: With just two days left for the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections, a large number of voters have been returning to their hometowns in various parts of the country of late.
Arun Datta Bhandari, 18, a student of Deuti Technical College in Surkhet, just returned to his hometown at Chandannath Municipality-2 of Jumla. He is going to exercise his voting right for the first time and play a role in electing his own representative.
Eight other youths are traveling with Bhandari to their home district for the same reason. He is clearly in an excited mood. “I'm about to exercise my voting right for the first time. We all are determined to cast our votes to good candidates instead of falling in the trap of nepotism,” said Bhandari, who was inside a bus en route to Jumla on Thursday.
Likewise, Devu Singh Thakuri, a local of Shivalaya Rural Municipality-5 of Jajarkot, runs a hotel in Newroad of Birendranagar. In order to cast his vote in the upcoming elections, he shut his business from Wednesday and is getting ready to travel to his hometown.
“Every single vote counts in the elections. That is why I have shut down my business to return to my election constituency to cast my vote,” he said.
Surkhet is not only the gateway of Province-6, but also an education hub. There are many technical colleges, including the Mid-western University, in the district. Thousands of students from the surrounding districts stay in Surkhet for their education. Likewise, thousands of people from the hilly districts also are in Surkhet for employment.
Hundreds of those people are heading back to their hometown districts to cast their votes in the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections. Seven out of the total 10 districts of Province-6 are going to polls in the first phase on November 26.
As a result, all out-bound public vehicles from Surkhet are packed with passengers. Transport entrepreneurs have reported that the number of passengers has more than doubled compared to normal times. The Transport Entrepreneurs Committee has doubled the number of vehicles going to various hilly districts.
“The number of passengers has steadily increased over the past few days. In fact, we are seeing more number of passengers than during major festivals like Dashain and Tihar,” said Ramesh Sapkota, secretary of Kakrebihar Transport Entrepreneurs Committee.