Bharat­pur re-polling: mock­ery of democ­racy

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Our Re­porter

As in­tended by the Nepali Congress and the Maoist-Cen­tre, the elec­tion re­sults of Bharat­pur Metropoli­tan City went in their favour. Renu Da­hal, the com­mon can­di­date of NC-MC and daugh­ter of Maoist chair Pushpa Ka­mal Da­hal won the may­oral post by a thin mar­gin of 203 votes.

While Renu won with 43,127 votes her ri­val, Devi Gyawali of CPN-UML got 42,924 votes.

How­ever, the Maoist-Cen­tre and the NC had to ap­ply all mea­sures to clinch the vic­tory for Renu. The two rul­ing par­ties not only abused power and re­sources but also re­sorted to il­licit work of tear­ing the bal­lot pa­pers when they were sure that Renu was go­ing to lose the elec­tion to Gyawali.

Two Maoist cadres—Madhu Ne­u­pane Drona Shivakoti tore 90 bal­lot pa­pers when 1800 votes of Ward 19 were counted as per a con­spir­acy hatched in the direct in­struc­tion of At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ra­man Shrestha on June May 28. The two Maoist cadres tore the bal­lot pa­pers so that Renu would get votes from NC sup­port­ers in the re-polling and their plan worked. Gyawali, who was lead­ing by 784 votes when the count­ing of 1800 votes of Ward No 19 had fin­ished, led just by 104 votes when the count­ing of the votes of the same ward fin­ished after re-polling . Renu got more votes than Gay­wali in Ward 20 whose count­ing was halted fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent of May 28.

Clearly, the NC lead­er­ship ex­erted pres­sure on its sup­port­ers to vote in fvaour of Renu while the Maoist man­aged to buy votes from the UML sup­port­ers. The fact that Gay­wali re­ceived 161 less votes than the UML can­di­date of the chair­man of Ward 19 proved this al­le­ga­tion.

The re­turn­ing of­fi­cers and oth­ers ex­cept the po­lice of­fi­cers had pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for the two Maoist cadres to tear the bal­lot pa­pers.

Dur­ing the first phase poll, many NC sup­port­ers had not voted for Renu as they were an­gry with the party lead­er­ship for with­draw­ing NC's may­oral can­di­date from Bharat­pur, be­cause they though NC can­di­dates would eas­ily win the may­oral post.

But in the re-polling held last week the NC sup­port­ers voted for Renu and mak­ing her win pos­si­ble.

The al­liance be­tween the demo­cratic NC and com­mu­nist Maoist-Cen­tre was it­self un­nat­u­ral. When the cadres of rul­ing Maoist-Cen­tre tore the bal­lot pa­pers with ill in­ten­tion of forc­ing the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to hold re-elec­tions, and NC sup­ported the il­licit acts, the peo­ple have taken it as a mock­ery of democ­racy. Of course, the Bharat­pur case serves an ex­am­ple where democ­racy suf­fered a de­feat from the hands of the party which claims to be the mes­siah of democ­racy in Nepal.

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