National

Candidates use audio record, personalised letter for election campaign

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Nov 4, 2017-Candidates of major political parties in the Himalayan district Taplejung are using audio record and personalised letter to reach out to the voters in the region that faces severe transportation issues.

 While door-to-door campaign and small mass meetings for the parliamentary and provincial polls scheduled for November 26 are on full swing, alternative measures including broadcast through radio station have been used by the candidates from Nepali Congress (NC) and left alliance—CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre)— for reaching out to the people in individual wards.

The Himalayan district spread over an area of 3,647 square kilometers has 61 wards, eight rural municipalities and a municipality. Both NC as well as left alliance are holding one mass meeting for two wards and solo campaign in some of the wards having higher population density. Likewise, schools are being used to conduct mass meetings.

Due to poor road infrastructure in the region, candidate are not being able to reach out to the voters living in Olanchukgola, the bordering point with northern neighbor China.

Due to the poor road condition, audio record of candidates with election pledge and appeal for votes have been sent in Olanchukgola having 271 voters. In some of the rural municipalities, candidates have sent letter to individual voters. Election content is also being broadcasted through local radio stations. It takes around three days for an individual to reach Olanchukgola.

Identifying road infrastructure as one of the major requirement, both NC and left alliance candidates have put significant focus towards it. The district situated in North-East Nepal still has rural municipalities which do not have access of motor able road.

NC candidate Keshav Prasad Dahal and Yogesh Bhattarai from the left alliance, in their election manifesto, have pledged development of motorable roads in every nook and corner in the next five years. Both of them are contesting in the parliamentary election.

NC candidate Lila Devi Bokhim (KA) and Dipendra Kumar Shandang (KHA) have been pitched as the candidates for the provincial election while Bal Bahadur Samsohang (UML/KA) and Tanka Angbuhang Limbu (Maoist Centre/KHA) are contesting from the left alliance. Apart from road, Bhattarai in his election manifesto has stated that prosperity will be his main agenda.

He claimed that he has campaigned 33 out of 100 hours on foot due to unavailability of proper road linkage. “Despite getting involved so rigorously, we have succeeded holding effective events for just 27 hours,” he added.

Dahal, who had also contested in the mayoral position of Phungling Municipality in the recently held local level elections, on the other hand has pitched modernisation of agriculture, promotion of tourism destination like Pathivara and Kanchanjunga and expansion of road as the major bases of making the district prosperous.

“I have served in the local region for a long period. And hence, I believe, I can replicate vision and mission as mentioned in the election manifesto better than anybody else,” Dahal said.

In the recently held local level elections, left alliance had garnered 29,914 votes while NC had received 19,572 votes. The district has population of 127,000 while number of voters stand at 78,397. The UML, which had contested solo in the recently held local level polls, had won four out of eight rural municipalities. UML had also emerged victorious in the mayoral position of Phungling Municipality. The NC and Maoist Centre had formed electoral alliance in the local level polls.

While candidates are busy with door-to-door campaign, enthused villagers who were found discussing polls related issues are busy identifying their pick for the upcoming polls. A distinctive division can be found between different age groups. “We will choose promising candidate having ability of making this region prosperous,” Thakur Sunuwar, 50, said, adding that availability of water and better health facility is what they expect from the leaders from the region.

Rana Bahadur Gurung, 74, however, believes it is important to back parties over candidates as it is on the ideological bases the parties are supposed to function and the candidates are supposed to work accordingly.

Sajan Poudel, associate professor at PathibharaMultiple Campus told the Post that the pledges made by political leaders do not match with their action as development of the region has always been their agenda with no concrete output. “They (leaders) talk about rail link with China but fail to ensure minor things line smooth operation of– Suketar Airport – the only airport in the region.

Published: 04-11-2017 15 : 31 pm