Local polls on May 14 at any cost: Nidhi

February 22, 2017 07:49 AM Ajit Tiwari

BIRATNAGAR, Feb 22: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi has said that the local level election will be held at any cost on the date announced by the government. 

Addressing a regional rally of the Nepali Congress organized in Kaseni of Morang district on Tuesday, Nidhi said that the local polls will be held in a single phase across the country. 

“There were rumors that the government would not be able to hold the polls in one go. The government has announced the poll date making all necessary logistical arrangements. Rest assured, the election will be held on the stipulated date,” said Minister Nidhi.

He also said that the government decided to hold the local polls on May 14 because of the constitutional provision to unveil the new budget on May 29. “The constitutional obligation to unveil the new budget on May 29 compelled the government to hold the poll before mid-May. There is no doubt on holding the polls now,” he further said.

Referring to three different cabinet meetings held on Monday, Minister Nidhi said that hectic cabinet meetings showed how serious the government is about fast-tracking all poll-related tasks and creating environment conducive for the polls. He said that a cabinet meeting on Monday already entrusted a taskforce with the responsibility of increasing the number of local units in Province 2 as demanded by the agitating Madhes-based political parties. 

On the occasion, Minister Nidhi also disclosed that the poll date was announced after consultations with the agitating Madhes-based political parties. “All these decisions were taken after consultations with the Madhes-based parties. They should not talk about holding protests now,” he advised the agitating Madhes-based parties. 

Nidhi said the cooperation of the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) is necessary to amend the constitution and hold the local level polls. “The government is committed to amending the constitution. The amendment process will now move forward. The UML has been obstructing this process,” he said, “The government is trying to secure a two-thirds majority in parliament even without the support of the UML.”

Nidhi said that there will be around 21,000 polling booths for the local level election and over 260,000 human resources including Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepal Army and civil servants will be mobilized to hold the polls.

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