Saptari locals want govt to create environment for polls

- ABDhESH KUMAR JHA, RAJBIRAJ

Apr 10, 2017- People of Saptari district have urged the government to create an environment conducive to holding the local body elections, expressing concern over the Madhesi Morcha’s refusal to take part in the polls scheduled for May 14.

Badri Narayan Jha, a Madhesi Civil Society leader, said the government and the political parties should be aware that the preparations for the election are inadequate. He sees the chances of the Madhes-based parties launching another protest programme in the Tarai if the government failed to take the disgruntled forces on board.
Since the government and the major parties failed to convince the plains parties to join the poll process, said Than Singh Bhansali, chairman of the Saptari Civil Society, there was no enthusiasm about elections in Saptari. “People still doubt whether the [planned] elections will be held in the Madhes,” said Bhansali.
The warning of the alliance of the regional parties to disrupt the May elections, however, has not deterred the major parties from finalising their candidates. Leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) are working in anticipation that the Morcha will ultimately come on board the elections.
Madhesi leaders have been requesting the people not to cast their votes, following the Maleth incident last month in which three persons were killed when security personnel opened fire after a violent clash with the Morcha cadres during a programme of the CPN-UML in the district headquarters. Two other injured succumbed to their injuries during treatment later.
The District Election Office is unable to fix the polling centres in Saptari in the lack of political consensus. Mahesh Kumar Thakur, chief of the DEO, said his office has not started voter education in the district. Claiming that the elections would not be held in the given situation, leaders of the Madhesi Morcha are busy strengthening their alliance. They are welcoming newcomers to their parties as people in the rural areas join the Madhes-based parties.

Published: 10-04-2017 08:36

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