Local polls still look uncertain
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.