Villages where no one goes to ask for votesKailali in Province 7 is otherwise an accessible district with good road networks. But the district also has some villages, which are so remote that candidates never reach there during elections, forget about elected representatives ever visiting people there to know about their concerns.
Kailali in Province 7 is otherwise an accessible district with good road networks. But the district also has some villages, which are so remote that candidates never reach there during elections, forget about elected representatives ever visiting people there to know about their concerns.
Locals of around two dozen villages including Khali, Phulbasti, Hatkhola, Garbhadarbar, Khimadi, Katunje, Katyur, Palsa, Dhamkot, Ningali, Kadkeri, Ojona, Alad, Salghari, Salyabasa, Intola, Paladi, Solta, Simali and Digada of Chure Rural Municipality and Mohanyal Rural Municipality in the northern part of Kailali say candidates have never visited them in any of the elections.
While the election fever has gripped the country, there are neither mass meetings nor door-to-door campaigns in these two rural municipalities which were formed after merging eight erstwhile village development committees.
“I am 42 years old. I don’t remember any candidate visiting our villages for any election,” said Dambar Bahadur Saud.
Locals said they remember Kashiraj Joshi visiting their villages during the Panchayat days. After the restoration of democracy in 1990, first parliamentary elections were held in 1991, “but we have not seen any candidate coming here or any party organising political gathering here,” said a villager.
The country has held five elections—including the two Constituent Assembly polls—until 2013. The federal and provincial elections are round the corner, but we do not expect anyone to visit us this time as well, said Saud.
Villagers here, however, have diligently exercised their franchise in all elections.
“I myself have cast votes in four elections, but I have never seen any leader in this area,” said Saud.
Prem Bahadur Bam of Dhamkot in Constituency-4 said during the two CA elections “we had reached out to leaders and put forward our concerns”. “We had met Dirgharaj Bhat of the Nepali Congress and Lekharaj Bhatta. We had told them what we lack—drinking water, electricity, schools and health facilities.”
“They won both the CA elections, but they neither visited us nor addressed our concerns,” he said. “People of around two dozen villages here have never felt the presence of state.”
This time, NC’s Sunil Bhandari and Maoist Centre’s Lekhraj Bhatta are contesting the federal elections from Constituency-4,. In Constituency-2, NC’s Mohan Singh Rathour and CPN-UML’s Jhapat Rawal are in the fray. None of these candidates has visited our villages, said locals.
“The election campaigns have started now. I will visit all the villages in my constituency,” said NC’s Bhandari, adding that he also has plans to run door-to-door campaigns in the Chure area. According to the District Election Office, there are 10,561 registered voters in Chure Rural Municipality and 10,134 voters in Mohanyal Rural Municipality.