PANCHTHAR, Oct 31: Many political parties might have fielded same old faces for the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections slated for November 26 but voters are noticing major shift in their poll campaigns this time. In the past parties spent millions on lavish mass gatherings and meetings but this time they have rather prioritized door-to-door visits. With not much time left for the elections, candidates are trying their best to woo voters with their agenda.
Parties have not just changed their campaign methods but also have changed their ways of seeking votes. Instead of delivering long speeches to a large audience in mass meetings, candidates this time are visiting voters personally and hearing their grievances. In the competition to beat their rivals, each of the candidates is making sure that they have the election agenda that can attract more number of voters. This has heated up the election environment in all 60 wards of the district.
As in the past, for this election also locals expected large stages decorated with flowers, colors, lights, banners and pamphlets but to their surprise such stages are rarely seen in their localities. Unlike previous constitutional Assembly elections, political leaders are visiting homes of every single voter despite topographical and other barriers. This is obviously consuming a lot of their time but still parties are confident that they will be able to draw support of more voters for their candidacy. Earlier, powerful and reputed leaders of the parties used to promote their local candidates but this time candidates have shouldered their responsibility themselves. They are conducting their poll campaigns with the help of few cadres of their parties.
Moreover, social media has emerged as a very powerful medium for candidates as they have a great potential to influence the large number of people. In fact, it has been the most suitable and popular medium of the modern era for any kind of promotions. With the growing use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, poll promotions have been very much easier for the candidates. They have been posting every single event, meetings and other developments on social media to connect with their voters. To a large extent, they have been successful in doing so. This has helped the locals to support the candidates of their favor by posting their photos, banners and other promotional materials on social media. Within a short period of time, such posts receive hundreds of likes and comments.
With the date for election inching nearer, parties which have forged alliances with other parties are busy calling meetings and forming committees to conduct poll campaigns. Even popular leaders of major political parties have expedited visits to rural areas for making necessary preparations. As of now, most parties are trying to visit all wards of local units.
As both of the elections have been announced for the first time in Nepali history, locals are eagerly waiting to be the part of them. Watching the enthusiasm and excitement of the voters, parties have intensified their campaigns all around. During the poll campaign, candidates have been asking voters their wishes and demands. This has also offered a great opportunity for the locals to express their disappointment and also have their voices heard.
In a day, a candidate has to attend around three to four local gatherings and also make door to door visit in some places. This has made their schedule a bit hectic but still they are doing so without any negligence as they can't afford to lose. "We have been meeting the locals and hearing their problems and grievances," said Bhishmaraj Angdembe, a candidate picked by 'democratic' alliance, adding, "We have been sharing our agendas with them and we have been successful in impressing them so far." As soon as the candidates registered their names for the polls they have been busy in campaigns. According to him, it is very important for the parties to conduct campaigns as per the need of time and people.
Candidates of the left alliance have also intensified their poll campaigns with the objective of wooing greater number of voters. "We have put all of our efforts to woo the locals and hope that they will support our candidacy, "said CPN UML's Basanta Nemwang, candidate for the left alliance. He shared that the party has been conducting meetings every day to review and revise campaign strategies.
While major parties have already kicked off their poll campaigns, other parties have not escalated their campaign efforts. In order to gain greater number of votes, candidates have been making various promises and vows to the voters. However, promises of some of the leaders have hardly influenced the voters. Leaders, which were rarely seen in the district in the past, are visiting every single voter with promises of better future.