Newly elected reps struggle to make good on their promise

  • provincial capital row
- LILABALLAV GHIMIRE, BIRATNAGAR

Dec 25, 2017-Having won the elections to the federal parliament and provincial assemblies on the agenda—making their districts capital of Province 1, the newly-elected members of Parliament and state legislatures are facing difficulties to fulfil their promise. 

Provincial capital was one of the key issues for candidates to win election in Morang, Sunsari and Dhankuta districts. Amid protests in Biratnagar, Gothgaun of Morang, Itahari, Dharan and Dhakuta demanding that their areas be made capital of Province 1, the newly elected representatives of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies have also compelled to take part in the protest programmes. 

“I have told people to make Biratnagar provincial capital while canvassing for votes. I have been frequenting Prime Minister’s Office and offices of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) in Kathmandu to press senior leaders for the cause,” said Kedar Karki, who won the election from Morang-6 (B). Likewise, Nepali Congress central member Amrit Aryal is also in the same campaign.  

Both provincial assembly members of Dhankuta are in Kathmandu, making a pitch for Dhankuta as provincial capital of Province 1. “People are protesting in the district. We are in Kathmandu, doing the rounds of minister’s and leader’s houses,” said Niran Rai, who was elected from Dhankuta (A). Rajendra Rai, a member of the House of Representatives, and along with Indramani Parajuli who won election from Dhankuta (B) are also in Kathmandu throwing their weight behind the same cause. 

People have been staging protests in Biratnagar, Gothgaun in Morang, Itahari, Dharan and Dhankuta, demanding that their area be made provincial capital. The leaders who were elected from these areas have been making strong statements for the provincial capitals.

Jiban Ghimire who was elected from Morang-4 (A), Kedar Karki from Morang-6 (B) and Jayaram Yadav from Morang-5 (A) submitted memorandums at the Prime Minister’s Office through Chief District Officer Ram Prasad Acharya, demanding that Biratnagar be selected as provincial capital of Province 1.

The delay in identifying temporary province capitals has led to demonstrations in the districts. “The issue of provincial capital was our primary agenda during the election campaign. There’s no other alternative to Biratnagar,” said Ghimire. 

Rajib Koirala, the newly elected provincial member of Sunsari-2 (B), is in a campaign to make Itahari the provincial capital. 

The government has already studied the physical infrastructure in Biratnagar, Sunsari and Dhankuta for selecting the provincial capital. Fifty-three candidates have been elected in the province.

 

Mahara makes a pitch for Dang

DANG: Deputy Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara has said that Dang could be made a provincial capital even by making a separate province.

Talking to reporters in Ghorahi on Saturday, Mahara said that establishing Dang as capital of Province 5 in the existing federal set-up first priority, “but if that did not happen, a separate province could be formed with Dang as its capital”. Mahara, who was elected to the federal parliament from Dang-2, said that he had been considering the possibility of making Dang a provincial capital by carving out a separate province comprising Rukum, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Dang, Banke and Bardiya districts.

“My electorate suggested me that a separate state should be formed if Dang is not declared the provincial capital under the existing federal structure. Now, I’ve started giving it a serious thought myself,” said Mahara. 

Published: 25-12-2017 07:32

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