Lo­cal polls still look un­cer­tain

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE -

By Our Re­porter Although lo­cal poll is now only 25 days away,, it is still un­cer­tain whether the elec­tion will be held on the sched­uled date of May 14, and if they are held, will they be con­ducted in a sin­gle phase. Con­flict­ing views of the min­is­ters and the lead­ers of the rul­ing par­ties have made peo­ple more sus­pi­cious about the elec­tion. When the lead­ers of the Nepali Congress rep­re­sent­ing the Prov­ince 2 have of­fi­cially de­manded that the polls should be post­poned by 10 days, se­nior leader Ram Chan­dra Poudel has de­manded that the elec­tion date should be post­poned for five days. They ar­gue that the post­pone­ment is es­sen­tial to bring the Mad­hes-based par­ties on board the elec­tion. More con­flict­ing were the views of NC pres­i­dent SherBa­hadurDeuba. One day he said the elec­tions could be post­poned, and the next day he said the elec­tion would be held in two phases. More­over, a tweet by Home Min­is­ter Bi­mal­en­dra Nidhi stat­ing that prepa­ra­tions for the polls and security ar­range­ments were in­suf­fi­cient fur­ther in­creased un­cer­tainty about the poll. Although the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion re­futed the claim of Home Min­is­ter by is­su­ing a press note on Mon­day, and DPM Nidhi cor­rected his tweet, such con­tro­ver­sial tweet by no other than the Home Min­is­ter has raised a ques­tion whether the Home Min­is­ter is also against the poll. Many peo­ple por­tray Nidhi as a re­li­able agent of In­dia in the government, and the tweet came un­der the Indian de­sign to foil the elec­tion. The con­tro­ver­sial tweet even forced UML leader Bam DevGau­tam to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tions from Prime Min­is­ter Pushpa Ka­mal Da­hal whether the the government was hon­est to hold the lo­cal elec­tion. PM Da­hal, how­ever, as­sured the UML that the lo­cal poll would be held even if he (PM) was killed. When the con­tro­ver­sial state­ments of NC lead­ers have made peo­ple sus­pi­cious about the timely hold­ing of the polls, rul­ing RPP has also threat­ened to quit the government and boy­cott the elec­tion if the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion does not meet their de­mands. The RPP has protested against the EC for delet­ing the is­sues re­lat­ing to monar­chy and restora­tion of Hindu state from the con­sti­tu­tion of the party.

Mean­while, sev­eral fringe par­ties un­der the lead­er­ship of DrBabu­ramBhat­tarai are now stag­ing a sit-in de­mand­ing that they be granted elec­tion sym­bols. They have also threat­ened to dis­rupt the polls. Above all the Mad­hes-based par­ties have an­nounced their protest pro­grammes in­clud­ing gen­eral strike with an in­ten­tion of dis­rupt­ing the polls. These ac­tiv­i­ties are sure to af­fect the poll. How­ever, the peo­ple look highly en­thu­si­as­tic about the polls. If the government is hon­est to hold the polls, the peo­ple will co­op­er­ate with the government to hold the poll across the coun­try. There­fore, the fate of the lo­cal elec­tion de­pends on the mo­tives of the government and the rul­ing par­ties, not on the Mad­hes-based par­ties.

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