GULMI, June 24: Much has changed in the country since the 1997 local elections. The monarchy is gone and the country has been declared a republic. But the locals in Gulmi are witnessing the same old faces yet again in the second round of local elections slated for June 28.
After a hiatus of 20 years, two former candidates for the post of chairman of Tamghas VDC will now compete for the mayoral post of Reshunga Municipality. The nomination of these two candidates has raised many eyebrows, creating quite a buzz in the district.
Bhuwan Prasad Shrestha of Nepali Congress (NC) and Dilli Raj Bhusal of CPN-UML had filed their candidacies for the post of chairman of Tamghas VDC in the local elections of 1997. Back then, NC's Shrestha was elected to the post. These days, both of them have intensified their meetings with the voters. The competition between NC's district chairperson Shrestha and CPN-UML's Secretariat member Bhusal has drawn a lot of attention as the district headquarters lies in the municipality.
While NC has already been claiming victory, members of the CPN-UML are saying that Tamghas is no longer “stuck with the old ideologies” and there are more VDCs in the municipality which are in favor of their party. NC candidate Shrestha was also elected in the local elections of 1991. At that time, Bhusal was one of the candidates for the post of vice-chairperson. According to Shrestha, NC has a good hold in the district and it is almost sure that they will win.
On the other hand, the CPN-UML has also been claiming victory. “It is too early for the NC to announce their victory because the time has changed and so have the people and their ideologies,” said CPN-UML candidate Bhusal. With the objective of wooing the voters, both candidates have presented interesting and creative agendas. Shrestha has been promising to build a ring road, provide drinking water, roads and electricity.
Meanwhile, Bhusal has assured not to use government services once elected as the mayor. He has given priority to enhancing Resunga airport and developing the municipality as a tourist hub. Besides that, he has assured to increase the elderly allowance, provide land revenue certificate to the landless and blacktop various road sections.