Polls: Parties hop on youth bandwagon

- Bharatpur Bureau, CHITWAN

May 1, 2017-Major parties have fielded youth candidates to compete for the posts of mayor, deputy mayor and ward chairs among other posts in the upcoming local polls, with the majority of the candidates canvassing for votes in towns and villages being under 40. 

In Bharatpur Metropolis-16, the Nepali Congress (NC) has picked 37-year-old Amrit Hamal as party’s contestant for ward chairperson. He has been immersed in the election campaign since being nominated for the post. “This time, youths constitute 75 percent of all the candidates picked for the local polls. The election fever has heated up,” said Jit Narayan Shrestha, NC’s Chitwan district president. 

Youths are also aspiring to be elected from the CPN-UML. “There has been an atmosphere of joy among youths after the party’s decision to field a majority of young guns. Currently, they are active on social networking sites to widen their vote base in the lead up to the local polls,” said Parbati Rawal, district secretary of the UML. 

The CPN (Maoist Centre) has also hopped on the bandwagon, picking youth leaders for the local polls. “We cannot say the exact number of the party nominees in Chitwan, but many of them are youths,” said Yam Bahadur Pariyar, district coordinator of the Maoist Centre.  

Similarly, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party has allocated 65 percent seats to youth candidates in Chitwan. “Youths have been encouraged to compete for the elections,” said Badri Timalsina, the party’s Chitwan district chairman. 

In Kapilvastu, the RPP has hurled 29-year-old Ajaya Thapa into the mayoral race in Shivaraj Municipality, while the Maoist Centre is almost certainly field Bijaya Prakash Jayasawal, 33, to contest for the post of mayor in Maharajgunj Municipality. Similarly, young candidates Rabidatta Mishra and Mirja Arsad Beg of the Rastriya Janata Party are gunning for the post of mayor in Shivaraj and Krishnanagar municipalities. 

Sarlahi is also stressing for the youth, with a number of young local leaders from various parties expressing interest to contest the local polls. “The society wants to pass the leadership baton to the youth,” said Bigu Chaudhary, a youth entrepreneur. 

Published: 01-05-2017 07:53

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