By D.M. Thapa
We have heard it more than thousands of times leaders of political parties saying it is impossible to hold any form of election during the monsoon period, specially the month of Asar (mid June and July), because the majority of the people will be engaged in planting paddy, the staple food of almost all Nepalis. But it also rains heavily and there are floods and landslides, so it becomes difficult for voters to turn up to cast their votes.
This time it seems this concept has been completely turned upside down and the second phase of local elections took place on 14 Asar considered to be the rainiest day of this Nepali month. This is the busiest time for almost eighty per cent of the entire population who depend on agriculture to sustain their life. But such issues don’t seem to deter the political parties in power. They want elections at any cost.
What is driving them so hard to hold election even at such a time? And why is the Election Commission agreeing with the decision of the political parties every time, though it calls itself a completely independent constitutional body? Perhaps this is because all those decision makers have been appointed by one party or the other.
That is why there is no reason to not believe people when they say they have no faith in the political parties, the government, the Election Commission, the Police Force and even the judiciary.
There is surely pressure on the government and political parties from somewhere outside Nepal for holding this election. The Election Commission, which had repeatedly told that the local level election would be held in one phase at any cost has now agreed to hold a third phase of election much later in one province. The officials seem to have no conscience and shame in backtracking on what they say to the public. How to believe such persons? They seem exactly like the thick skinned politicians who change their stance every day and still talk to the public of their policies making tall promises. The surprising thing is the so called bold and free media are also stay quiet about such issues and just report whatever the politicians say. This surely means that there is a nexus between the media and political parties and the majority of the media persons are affiliated to one political party or the other. So these people have no right to speak of professionalism or press freedom.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission which preaches to all about the election code of conduct transferred a secretary from its own office just a few days before the second phase of election. If we are to believe media reports, this person apparently did not agree with decision of the commissioners to buy very expensive SUVs, each costing almost twenty million rupees.
The donors also should monitor how the money they give to such constitutional bodies is spent. But they themselves maybe in cahoots with the officials and coerce them to implement decisions of their interests.
Now to come back to where we began, why are the political parties in such a hurry when the election has been postponed for three times even now! Who stopped them from holding elections for almost twenty years? There must be some powers, most probably a foreign one egging the major parties to hold elections come hell or high water.
Ordinary folks, including this writer cannot cotton on to it, but there must be some reason and there will be some fowl play after the elections are completed. The masterminds outside must know what they are doing even as the pull the string to make Nepali leaders dance to their tune.
Maybe some foreign powers and our own major political parties want a low turnout of voters or maybe they want their own people at the local level to do what they tell them to do, these are mere speculations of an ordinary observer, but like the Indians say “Dal me kuch kala hain” (there is some conspiracy), this writer also feels there is some reason behind this hurried game when these same parties could not hold elections for almost twenty years.
Let us hope the weather stays clear at least on election day and also let us hope the media becomes more professional and not partisan while reporting events of the elections.
Why the hurry?
By D.M. Thapa