Livelihood concerns Rajapur locals more than electionsPeople living in rural parts of Bardiya district say they are more concerned about issues of their daily livelihood rather than the upcoming elections of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies.
People living in rural parts of Bardiya district say they are more concerned about issues of their daily livelihood rather than the upcoming elections of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies.
The first phase of elections will be held in 32 districts on Sunday while the second phase is scheduled for December 7.
Voting in Bardiya and other 44 districts will take place in the second phase.
They say candidates who won earlier elections did nothing for them when it came to issues of their livelihood.
Kali Bahadur Tharu of Geruwa-4 says he is busy collecting hay these days and he hardly has spare time to participate in election activities.
“I am trying to make some money; I have a family to feed,” he said.
Most of the people in the region these days are busy harvesting paddy and sowing winter crops including wheat.
But locals, however, said they would cast their votes in what shows people’s awareness about exercising franchise despite being ignored by political parties and leaders.
“I will take a break to cast my vote,’ said Lakhana Tharu who was ploughing his field. “But until the voting day I have to work, which is more important than participating in poll activities.”
Rajapur, which lies 25 kilometres from Gulariya, the district headquarters, of Bardiya, severely lacks irrigation facility and farmers face a hard time during paddy plantation season. “There is a scarcity of fertilizers and seeds. These issues matter more to us,” said Ram Prasad Dhungana of Bhogpur in Rajapur-8.
People said they are worried they will not get a good harvest due to lack of seeds and fertilizers.
“We have always been neglected. Youths have started entering India after harvesting paddy and ploughing their fields,” said Radheshyam Tharu of Geruwa-2
Farmers said party leaders once elected build houses in the Capital and forget the electorate until the next elections.
In the run-up to the elections, candidates here were canvassing for votes with the promise of employment, irrigation, education, health and other facilities, they said.
The then 11 VDCs of Rajapur Tappu of Bardiya Constituency 2 have been included in Rajapur Municipality and Geruwa Rural Municipality. Annually, paddy worth around Rs 1 billion is produced here. Though the authorities had constructed a canal to irrigate more than 14,000 hectares of land by bringing water from Karnali 26 years ago, there’s not enough water to irrigate the fields. Local Khumraj Regmi said the Food Corporation of Nepal never buys farmer’s paddy on time.
There are lots of issues, but candidates barely say anything concrete except making tall promises during the elections, said Regmi.
The District Agricultural Office said around 96 percent of people depend on agriculture in Rajapur area.
Minister for Land Reforms and Management Gopal Dahit and Minister without portfolio Santa Kumar Tharu are contesting from this area.