Voters in Jumla never know candidates, but still, vote

Published On: November 15, 2017 03:00 AM NPT By: DB Buda

JUMLA, Nov 15: Haijali Thapa, a local of Tila Rural Municipality of Jumla, has been voting every election conducted after restoration of democracy in 1990 without meeting the candidates in person. She just goes to polling center and cast her vote without knowing the candidates.  

"I have no idea about candidates and their efficiency. I am casting my votes to those who have been suggested by my villagers," Thapa said that her vote has changed nothing in her village. 

Thapa said she is not much aware about the activities of elected leaders. Still, she cannot avoid any election when villagers ask her to participate in election process. She lives in a remote part of the village and none of the candidates have reached her to solicit votes. The 60-year old Thapa has not met any candidate for the upcoming elections. 

This time, candidates of the left alliance reached Rasa, Malapani and Dhipu villages but could reach her distant village. This has disheartened her. "I will not cast vote this time if they [candidate] don't come to my village seeking votes." 

Another elderly woman Hirkali Budha, 65, is also miffed with poll candidates. She complains that nothing has changed in her life despite series of elections. 

"Why should we vote when we cannot even get an opportunity to share our sufferings and interact with the candidates," said Budha adding that the candidates are treating voters of remote villages as second-class citizens. 

Kali Bahadur Thapa, a local school teacher, said voters of Khopri are gradually feeling a sense of isolation. 

“When the candidates hesitate to meet voters and hear their grievances, they can't be the peoples' representative," said Kali Bahadur Thapa. 

According to the school teacher, voters entirely supported the Maoists in the first and second Constituent Assembly elections held in 2008 and 2013. 

They, however, voted as per their choices in recent local elections instead of voting for the specific party.  This time, voters are confused about whom to choose. 

"No one has approached us. And we have not yet reached any conclusion," said Lalit Budha, a local. 

Candidates need to walk four hours to reach Khopri from Karnali Highway. The village lacks drinking water, health, transportation and education facilities. Nor any representative from the government or non-governmental offices has reached there to hear the villagers' woes.

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