Parties giving voters free ride homeParties and their candidates are giving voters in the cities especially Kathmandu free ride to their home districts with an aim to secure votes.
Parties and their candidates are giving voters in the cities especially Kathmandu free ride to their home districts with an aim to secure votes.
Both the left and “democratic” alliances have their committees of supporters living in Kathmandu to connect with their home districts. Such contact forums, instead of the parties, are arranging for vehicles with an aim to send reluctant voters to the villages and towns.
NC office secretary Prakash Pangeni claimed that the party has not managed vehicles for ferrying voters from Kathmandu but the candidates were doing so on
However, party leader Dhanaraj Gurung said the NC’s Samparka Samitis (contact committees) were paying for the vehicles to ensure that their voters are not left back in Kathmandu.
“Ferrying voters from Kathmandu and all other major cities of the country has become a ritual during the polls,” Gurung said, adding that this election was not an exception. The left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN Maoist Centre has formed a joint Samparka Manch for almost all the districts, tasking them with giving voters free ride to their home districts.
UML leader Bishnu Rimal, who handles all the election-related issues for the party, said the Samparka Manches have been directed to manage vehicles as required.
Rishiram Kandel, coordinator of the Syangja-Kathmandu Samparka Manch of the two parties, said they would manage some 25 buses from Kathmandu to different parts of Syangja from Friday to Tuesday.
The cost of renting each bus for Syangja ranges from Rs20,000 and Rs35,000 depending on the distance and the number of seats.
NC leaders said this election had become so crucial after two major communist parties forged an alliance that the Congress could not afford to lose a single vote.
Nepali Congress Syangja-Kathmandu Samparka Samiti Chairperson Devi Aryal said they have managed more than 35 buses which started ferrying voters on Wednesday.
The Samiti has collected about Rs700,000 from well-wishers while the remaining cost would be borne by the poll candidates.
President of the Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs Dolraj Khanal said many of their buses were hired by the parties to ferry voters from different cities during the first phase of the federal parliament and provincial assembly polls, adding that the number of vehicles would rise during the second-phase vote scheduled for next week.
EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal said taking people to their home districts with an aim to influence their vote was gross violation of the election code of conduct.