Butwal folk press parties to keep Province 5 intactLocals of Butwal have demanded the candidates of the upcoming second phase of the local level elections against separating the hill districts in Lumbini zone from Province 5.
Locals of Butwal have demanded the candidates of the upcoming second phase of the local level elections against separating the hill districts in Lumbini zone from Province 5.
In the past, people living in Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Palpa, Gulmi, Sindhuli, and Arghakhanchi districts protested against the government decision to divide Province 5.
People have been requesting leaders to keep Province 5 intact during the election campaigns. “Butwal is one of the leading cities in the development of the region. We hope that the elected people’s representatives will help in keeping Province 5 undivided,” said Ram Prasad Bhattarai, a local of Butwal.
Political parties have also included the issue in their election manifestos. A few months ago, leaders of various political parties, traders and locals had organised a protest against the government’s constitution amendment proposal to split Province 5.
CPN-UML’s Siva Subedi, who is contesting in the mayoral race in Butwal, said his party’s first agenda is to keep Province 5 intact. “Voters who want to protect the province will cast votes for us,” he sounded confident.
The Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre) have forged an electoral alliance in Butwal. They are also claiming that their parties will take initiatives to make Province 5 undivided. “We will not let the districts in Province 5 separated against the aspiration of people,” said Khelraj Pandey, the NC’s mayoral candidate in Butwal.
Butwal is serving as a bridge to link Tarai and hill districts, according to Ramchandra Bhattarai, an expert. “People are in a mood to choose leaders who assure them to keep Province 5 intact,” he added.
There are 158, 8715 voters in six districts of Lumbini zone. “The majority of people have their ancestral homes in the Hills, but they are living in the plains now. So, the candidates who assure people of undivided Province 5 will garner more votes,” said Kamal Nepal of Palpa, who has been running a cloth store in Butwal.
According to the National Census of 2011, the population of Lumbini zone is 283, 4612.
Yubaraj Kandel, another political expert, also said that a large population had migrated from the Hills to Rupandehi, Kapilvastu and Nawalparasi districts. “So, people will cast their votes to make undivided province,” he said.