Youth look for those with development agenda


Nov 6, 2017-

Young voters in the eastern district of Panchthar say they will examine the prospects of individual candidates, rather than a party or an alliance, to vote in the upcoming election. For youngsters in Phidim, all that matters is development.

The youth seem to be demanding not just physical infrastructure but investments in the field of information technology, sports and culture which, they say, foster inclusive development in the hills. According to the District Election Office, the district has around 8,000 new voters for the provincial and federal polls. Some 6,000 of them are believed to be in the age group 18 to 32 years.

“Promises of development in transportation, health and education are not enough. The leaders should think beyond that,” Kabi Raj Mishra, 20, of the Panchthar district headquarters told the Post. They expect leaders to promote information technology, among others, for the development of the entire region.

Mishra said he does not back the political ideology or influence of his family as he feels it is due to the traditional mindset that development has simply not taken off in the hills. “But again, one will have to choose between the candidate of either the 

Nepali Congress or the left alliance to realise the dream of seeing a prosperous Panchthar,” Mishra said.

Umesh Raphal, 27, of Falgunanda Rural Municipality expects employment generation in the region from elected representatives. Even as economic indicators of the district do not pale in comparison, Panchthar lags behind in the sectors of health and education. “Completion of the federal and provincial polls will cement the positions of the elected representatives at all levels. This is why I’ll be choosing individual candidates over a party or an alliance,” Falgunanda said.

While picking a candidate, Raphal says, he will also look at his or her past track record. “I feel time has come for young voters like me to elect fresh candidates and make them accountable,” he said, adding that most of his friends have been to the foreign soil, mostly the Middle East, for work.

Manju Nembang, 30, too feels that young voters should make conscious choice rather than jumping on the bandwagon. This will be her third voting experience after the second Constituent Assembly elections and the recently held local polls. For her, the upcoming polls are not just another election but an event that would institutionalise the new constitution which will allow the nation as a whole to embark on the path of development.

NC Candidate Bhisma Raj Angdambe, UML leader Basanta Nembang from the left alliance and Prem Lawoti of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal are in the fray.

In the recently held local elections, the left alliance garnered around 40,000 votes in total while the NC settled for around 28,000 votes. The Upendra Yadav-led Forum got 1,400 votes. Of the seven rural municipalities and one municipality in Panchthar, the NC had won the top posts of three rural municipalities and the municipality. The UML won the chair in three rural municipalities while the Maoist Centre had victory at one local federal unit.

The district having a population of around 191,000 has 125,000 voters.

Published: 06-11-2017 07:33

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