Annual budget, policies presented amid protests in several local units of Province 2Security personnel lobbed two dozen tear gas canisters to contain the situation after a violent clash ensued between rival political parties in Maulapur Municipality of Rautahat district on Thursday.
Tensions ran high in the municipal and village council meetings of several local units of Province 2 while presenting the budget and policy and programme on Thursday.
A violent clash ensued in Maulapur Municipality of Rautahat district on Thursday as the political parties staged demonstrations. Security personnel lobbed two dozen tear gas canisters to contain the situation and prevent any untoward incidents.
Some security personnel and protesters were injured as rival political parties hurled stones at one another, said police.
“The situation is under control now,” said Indradev Yadav, the chief district officer of Rautahat.
The clash erupted between the supporters of Mayor Rina Devi Sah and some ward chiefs who are backed by Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Centre), Upendra Yadav faction of Janata Samajbadi Party and Nepal group of CPN (UML).
The disgruntled group of ward chiefs staged demonstrations soon after the municipal council started where former minister Prabhu Sah was the chief guest.
“We were forced to protest as the mayor unilaterally decided to hold a municipal council when it’s the executive body of the municipality who should schedule the council meeting,” said Ram Prabesh Yadav, the protesting ward chairman of Maulapur-1. The agitating people’s representatives and the party activists said the mayor and her supporters misused their power.
However, Mayor Sah claimed that the municipal council was scheduled after fulfilling the due process. “The anti-development forces are protesting the council,” she said.
The municipal council meeting continued despite protests outside the meeting hall. A large number of Nepal Police personnel were deployed in the area to contain the situation.
According to the Local Government Operation Act 2017, the local units should hold council meetings each year by the 10th Nepali month of Asadh (which falls on June 24 this year).
Various local bodies, including Maulapur, Katahariya, Gujara, Ishanath, Phatuwa Bijayapur and Yamunamai, in Rautahat commenced their council meetings amid protests this year.
The office of Rajdevi Municipality said it completed its municipal council meeting on June 21 despite disputes among its members. Deputy Mayor of the municipality Ansu Singh boycotted the meeting.
The council meetings of Kalaiya and Jitpur Simara Sub Metropolis and Debahi Gonahi, Garuda, Brindaban and Baudhimai municipalities are yet to begin owing to disputes among the stakeholders.
In Janakpurdham Sub Metropolitan City, most of the municipal members chanted slogans in the assembly on Thursday demanding budget transparency. They also demanded that plans and projects for the wards be made public.
Janakpurdham Sub Metropolis made public a budget of around Rs 1.47 billion for the next fiscal year amid protests and demonstrations.
In Sabaila Municipality of Dhanusha, a group of local youths demanded the authorities make public the expenditures of the current fiscal year in the municipal council. Security personnel were deployed to prevent the protesters from entering the assembly hall.
In Mithila Municipality of Dhanusha, Dhalkebar residents chanted slogans against Mayor Harinayaran Mahato at the municipal assembly, accusing him of trying to shift the location of the Trauma Centre in Dhalkebar to Lalgadh for his benefit.
In Mahottari, supporters of various political parties padlocked the office of Matihani Municipality, demanding that the expenditures of the current fiscal year be made public. The municipal assembly continued despite the protests.
According to the Provincial Police Office in Janakpur, security personnel were deployed in all 135 local units of the province on Thursday, keeping in view possible clashes and demonstrations during village and municipal assemblies.