KHOTANG, Nov 24: Even though the Election Commission (EC) announced election silence for the parliamentary and provincial elections slated for November 26 from Thursday midnight, some parties and candidates in Khotang are still not done with their electoral campaigns.
After the beginning of the election silence, political parties are barred from conducting any kind of election activities. But this election silence code of conduct hasn't prevented the candidates from breaching the election law and they have given continuity to their election activities aimed at wooing voters. "In fact, they have been more active after the beginning of the election silence," said Rabin Sunuwar, professor at Diktel Multiple College. According to him, parties are making their last ditch attempts to attract the swing voters.
By going against the ethics of elections, candidates are utilizing the night time for canvassing votes, according to the locals. Though the main purpose behind announcing the election silence is to give time to the voters to make their decision, that has not been possible in some parts of the district.
"The last two days before the elections are the main days for campaigning for all parties," said a Nepali Congress member, requesting anonymity. Reportedly, parties are organizing lavish dinners and feasts in the eleventh hour to impress the voters. During this period, parties accuse each other of buying and deceiving voters. They also engage in the blame game of conducting anti-election activities to foil the elections. Not just voters, but parties even try to attract the cadres of their rival parties who are disappointed with their parties. As per the locals, goats, buffaloes, pigs and chicken are slaughtered more during this time.
Candidates are also found offering money and drinks to the voters, seeking their votes in return. The EC has forbidden the parties from promoting their candidates and agendas even through social networking sites during the election silence.