Dhangadhi locals protest; welcome rally in GodawariThe locals of Dhangadhi have enforced banda while residents of Godawari organised a welcome programme over the provincial assembly’s decision to designate Godawari as the capital of Province 7.
The locals of Dhangadhi have enforced banda while residents of Godawari organised a welcome programme over the provincial assembly’s decision to designate Godawari as the capital of Province 7.
The Citizen Struggle Committee announced a strike in Dhangadhi, the district headquarters of Kailali and the temporary provincial capital, on Saturday protesting the decision of shifting the provincial capital to Godawari. Consequently, normal life was affected in the area as transportation was largely disrupted while market places and industries remained closed.
The applicants who arrived in Dhangadhi from various districts to attend Teacher Service Commission examinations scheduled on Friday and Saturday were among the hardest hit by the strike. Local youths, mostly the Nepali Congress (NC) activists, took to the streets from early morning demanding that the provincial assembly withdraw the decision. Police briefly detained two protesters.
On Friday, the Provincial Assembly meeting endorsed the proposal to name Province 7 as Sudurpashchim and Godawari as its capital with a two-thirds majority. Of the 53 provincial lawmakers, 38 voted in favour of the proposal while 12 NC lawmakers and two from the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal boycotted the assembly in protest.
Godawari lies to the west of the Dhangadhi-Dadeldhura road Kailali, about 20km from Dhangadhi.
In Godawari, the jubilant locals and people’s representatives launched the welcome programme at Attariya Bazaar, the main market place of Godawari.
According to Deputy Mayor of Godawari Ratna Kathayat, a rally was taken out in Attariya that converged into a mass meeting after moving around the market area. Minister for Social Development Dirgha Sodari among other provincial lawmakers addressed the function. Minister Sodari claimed that all nine districts of the province would feel ownership to designate Godawari as the capital.
Lawmaker Chun Kumari Chaudhari, who is also a member of five-member parliamentary committee that recommended shifting the capital to Godawari, refuted claims that the decision was politically motivated. “New place [Godawari] has been chosen as the capital as physical infrastructure could be constructed there in a managed way,” she added.
The protesters have been claiming that the proposal to shift the capital just a few kilometres from Dhangadhi was a political whim. They even charged some leaders of trying to move the capital to Godawari in collusion with land brokers and timber smugglers.