POKHARA, Nov 9: There are altogether 5,881 voters in the mountainous district of Manang but more than 60% of them live outside of the district, according to candidates of various political parties.
Many of them have migrated towards cities like Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara among others in search of better facilities and employment. Though few of them live in the district, they too have moved toward the lowlands in order to escape cold.
This has badly affected the election campaigns of the candidates contesting the upcoming parliamentary and provincial polls. Similarly, there are altogether 9, 426 voters in the Mustang and around 3,000 of them live out of district. Being unable to bear the extreme cold, most of them have migrated to Pokhara. They will return back by the end of February.
Though the fever of election has gripped the parties in Manang and Mustang, it is yet to excite the locals living the cities. Election campaign for the candidates has been quite taxing as they have to travel to various cities to meet with the voters. Candidates have kicked off their campaigns in major cities like Pokhara and Kathmandu while some are on their way out of the districts.
Leaders and cadres of various political parties have already visited the locals present in the district and now have started making visits to the voters outside the district. In fact, most of the campaigns are conducted in city areas these days. Tek Bahadur Gurung, candidate of Nepali Congress (NC), said, "We have found that most of our voters are in the cities. So, it's better if we conduct our campaigns over there."
With the objective of bringing voters to the district, candidates are also assuring them of transportation facility. Polden Chopang Gurung, candidate of CPN-UML who is currently in Kathmandu, said, "Most of the voters are here and it won't be right to neglect them," he said, adding," If we can convince at least 1,200-1,300 voters from here, there will be a good participation of locals."
According to him, some voters will return themselves to the district for elections while others will have to be brought there.
However, this is not the first time that the candidates of Mustang are campaigning in Pokhara or any other cities. As candidates are busy wooing voters in cities they have urged the cadres of their parties to continue with their campaigns in their respective districts.