Minority groups flay parties for ignoring themPeople from the indigenous minority and extremely marginalised communities have accused political parties of failing them again, with what they say showing blithe disregard for them when it came to selecting candidates for the local elections.
People from the indigenous minority and extremely marginalised communities have accused political parties of failing them again, with what they say showing blithe disregard for them when it came to selecting candidates for the local elections.
“Why did not parties select candidates from our community?” wondered Narayan Munda, a local from a minority group in Pyaribhitta, Mechinagar of Jhapa. “We have been deprived of our rights for years. Such elections could have been an opportunity for us to make it to decision-making positions, but there is no representation from our community. Political parties have shown no interest in selecting candidates from minority and extremely marginalised communities.”
Parties have selected candidates only from the Rajbanshi community, one of the minority groups, for the local polls in Jhapa.
The second phase of local elections is scheduled for June 28.
“Minority groups like Munda, Kisan, Urau, Khadiya, Kalwar Khatwe, Jhangad, Gangai, Dhimal, Meche, Koche and Malpade have been ignored,” said Bandhan Kumar Munda, a local leader. “A few parties have given opportunity to people from the Dhimal, Meche and Santhal communities, but the number is negligible.”
People from the minority communities here say they are facing a double whammy. While they have been denied representation, they are being warned of being deprived of social security allowances.
Chilo Kisan, a local woman from a minority group, said some party candidates had warned of taking their social security allowances away if they “don’t cast votes for them”.