BIRGUNJ, Oct 8: Many young and new faces recorded upset victories over established names with an astonishing margin of votes in the recently held third phase of local polls. The fresh candidates themselves were taken aback by their stunning victory. Pokhariya Municipality of Birgunj in Province 2 is one of such municipalities where young and new candidates defeated veteran competitors making a clean sweep in all the posts of the local units.
Since the day they took oath of office, the newly elected people's representatives have already started formulating policies and plans. It has just been two weeks but they have already been familiar with their roles and responsibilities. Not just the mayor and deputy mayor but the chiefs of all ten wards of this municipality are new to politics. Despite the popularity and fame of the senior leaders, voters picked young candidates to shoulder the responsibility of the local units.
Twenty-seven-year-old Dip Narayan Rauniyar bagged the mayoral post defeating former lawmaker of Nepali Congress (NC) Rameshwar Rauniyar, former lawmaker of CPN-UML and current member of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) Pradhumna Chauhan and central committee member of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) Nijamuddin Samani. Rauniyar is one of the youngest mayors of the province. Similarly, Salma Khatun, a thirty-year-old journalist from a middle class Muslim family won the post of deputy mayor.
According to the voters, though these representatives have less experience, they are full of energy and enthusiasm. The result of the elections made it clear that the locals were desperately waiting for an opportunity to choose new faces.
“Though the government kept increasing the budget every year, it was never utilized for the welfare of the locals but rather for fulfilling the vested interests of the representatives for last 20 years,” said Dinesh Mishra, a local, adding, “We were tired of that and were dying for a change.”
This municipality lacks basic and fundamental infrastructures due to which locals are compelled to walk for miles in search of health, educational and other facilities. There is no awareness among the people regarding open defecation and hazards of pollution. Besides that, there are numerous cases of violence recorded in the district which need strict rules and laws.
The new representatives are all set to reduce the rate of unemployment so that no youth will have to fly to foreign land in search of job.