Province 2 gears up for local pollsWith the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal deciding to participate in the upcoming phase of local level elections, the eight districts of Province 2 that were battered by floods are gearing up for the polls.
With the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal deciding to participate in the upcoming phase of local level elections, the eight districts of Province 2 that were battered by floods are gearing up for the polls.
Until the RJP-N announced its decision to participate in all the elections on Thursday, uncertainty had loomed in the province over the success of the vote scheduled for September 18. The newly unified party had boycotted two phases of the local polls putting forth several demands. The Madhes-based party agreed to go to the polls even as the constitution amendment bill was defeated in Parliament, arguing that the government had tried to address their concerns.
“The RJP-N’s decision to take part in the elections has ended the uncertainty,” said civil society leader Umesh Lal Das in Bara. “Now there are no fears and doubts about the local elections being held.”
Ordinary people, leaders and party cadres are gearing up for the much-awaited vote. “We have started working on the election manifesto,” said RJP-N General Secretary Jitendra Sonal.
Following the RJP-N’s announcement in Kathmandu to participate in the local elections, top leaders have started gathering in Province 2. RJP-N General Secretaries Sonal and Jitendra Singh along with two vice-presidents Saroj Yadav and Ramesh Yadav have reached Bara. Election campaigns would be mobilised from the party’s office in Janakpur.
The party has appointed eight observers, one each for the eight districts from Saptari to Parsa, to oversee candidate selection and also to explore possible electoral alliances. All the observers have reached the assigned districts and have started field monitoring, said Singh.
They have started the candidate selection process after holding the district executive committee meetings. RJP-N coordinator Mahantha Thakur was due to reach Birgunj on Friday.
Thakur will be attending a programme to welcome cadres from other parties to the RJP-N in Mahuwan of Parsa before leaving for the eastern districts, Singh told the Post.
Vijay Gupta, RJP-N central committee vice-president; Malamati Rana Tharu, former lawmaker from Kanchanpur Satyanarayan Mandal; Shekhar Kumar Singh, Govinda Chaudhary, Arun Singh, Gajadhar Yadav and MP from Kapilvastu Narsingh Chaudhary have reached Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari districts, respectively, for candidate selection and to explore the possibility of electoral alliances.
Internal disputes in RJP-Nepal
A dispute within the newly united party hampered its candidate selection in Birgunj on Friday. The mayoral candidate announcement programme in the Birgunj Metropolitan City was postponed after cadres from two factions shouted slogans in favour of their candidates. Rajeshman Singh from the erstwhile Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party and Bimal Prasad Shreevastav from the now-dissolved Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party have staked their claims to the mayoral post.
Major party leaders show up in Rautahat
CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal has been participating in several election-related events since Thursday. He has been persuading people to vote for his party claiming that it is the UML that understands the people’s problems.
Central RJP-N leader Ajay Gupta said the poor condition of roads caused by flooding and inundation has made campaigning difficult.
Nepali Congress local leader Dev Prasad Timilsina praised the agitating party for deciding to join the elections.
RJP-N expedites preparations
After formally deciding to go to the polls, the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal has expedited its preparations for the local level elections in Province 2.
The party has formed a six-member committee to draft the party’s manifesto. The team members are Jitendra Sonal, Manish Suman, Harendra Yadav, CP Singh, Kaushalendra Mishra and Keshav Jha. They have got five days to prepare the necessary documents. RJP-N leaders said the party has already started selecting candidates right from the ward level. The selection process would be over within the next five days.
Asked about scuffles at the local level over candidate selection, General Secretary Jha said conflict was inevitable at some places due to a high number of aspirants but the party leaders would manage disputes.
A secretariat would be established in Kathmandu by Saturday for coordination of election-related programmes while a centre would be set up in Janakpur in Province 2 to oversee the preparations locally. Election campaigns led by top leaders would begin from Janakpur.
The party has requested the Election Commission to let it use “bicycle” as its official election symbol. Jha said the party’s call for deleting the symbols of the other five RJP-N constituents was not fulfilled.