Eighty percent public vehicles have been booked by political parties for ferrying voters from Kathmandu to their home districts, according to the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs.
Dolanath Khanal, the FNNTE president, said the reservations were made for Sunday and Monday by both the left and “democratic” alliances. There were only 20 percent vehicles for passengers to choose a ride on until Tuesday, Khanal added.
It is learnt that each bus reservation costs between Rs20,000 and Rs35,000, depending on the distance and the number of seats. The FNNTE has 6,000 buses that ply on long and short routes. Political parties and their candidates are giving free ride to voters, ahead of the second phase of the federal parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled for December 7.
“Taking voters to their home districts with an aim to influence their vote is gross violation of the election code of conduct,” said Spokesperson for the Election Commission Navaraj Dhakal, adding that the poll body was looking into the matter.
However, the EC has taken no action against any political party for trying to influence voters. Earlier polls also saw large numbers of the public buses hired by the parties to take voters to their villages.
According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, 71,000 people left the Valley on Sunday on 10,000 vehicles—long-route buses, mini-buses and micro-buses. The number will go up on Tuesday, said Sarbendra Khanal, chief of the MTPD. On an average, 7,000 vehicles leave the Valley daily.