JANAKPUR, July 4: While the local units of other provinces are heading toward the path of development after successful local level elections, locals of eight districts of Province 2 are disappointed with the political parties for excluding them from development.
Anup Mandal, 81, of Kamala Siddhidatri Rural Municipality of Dhanusha accuses the political parties for not allowing the locals to exercise their voting rights for the sake of their own interests. There have been several deferrals of poll dates in tarai as demanded by various poll opposing parties.
“When the whole country took part in elections, we were obliged to sit at home and watch television and listen to radio,” said Mandal, adding, “I don't understand why our poll date is pushed three months later as if we belong to a different nation.”
According to him, poll deferrals have not been beneficial for anyone, neither for the party nor for the locals. With eyes full of aggression, he questioned, “If it is for the sake of Madhesi people what was the government doing till now?”
Mandal is disappointed with the poll deferrals due to two reasons. As the poll date has been scheduled three months later, he has a great fear that he might lose the opportunity to take part in the historic elections due to his health problems. Secondly, he is worried that the development of his already poor district will crawl backward.
“Though I was 22/23 during the first local elections of Nepal, I couldn't cast vote as there were still few requirements which I needed to fulfill to be an eligible voter,” Mandal said. Despite that he was actively involved in poll activities even then.
Mandal said that no country can head toward development without elections. He is hopeful that the local elections will revive the competitive feeling among the political leaders toward development.
In a local market of the village, Mandal was having a political discussion with Ajab Lal Yadav, 69, of the same village. Supporting the arguments of his friend, Yadav told Republica that postponing the poll date was a wrong decision of the government.
“We still don't know what was the exact reason for poll deferral,” Yadav wondered.
According to him, voters are not going to cast votes for the candidates who are posing more troubles for them in the name of politics. He claimed that there can be no better weapon other than election for the protests.
Meanwhile, Arjun Mandal, 74, of Kamala Siddhidatri Rural Municipality, Mangaraha accused the government and Madhes-based parties of being anti-Madhesi.
“Madhes-based parties are afraid of losing their political agendas after the development of tarai while the government is afraid that it might not get to rule in Madhes if it becomes developed,” he said. Though there were several movements in Madhes, locals did not benefit from any of them, according to Arjun Mandal. “We need selfless and far-sighted leaders who genuinely care for the locals,” he said.
As Dhanusha lacks basic infrastructures like roads, schools, health posts and agriculture, locals were hopeful that the elections would help develop these infrastructures here. However, the poll deferral has left them annoyed.