Chopper returns without ballot boxes from Kanda

Bajura, November 27

Owing to a dispute between party representatives, a helicopter that had reached a polling station in Bajhang’s far-flung Kanda Rural Municipality had to return without ballot boxes.

According to Chief Returning Officer Purna Prasad Bastola in Bajhang, the chopper had to return without ballot boxes for want of space, as party representatives demanded that they also board the copter. Dispute erupted after the captain said the chopper with a capacity to accommodate six persons could not accommodate all the party representatives.

Kanda Rural Municipality has just five polling stations. NA helicopter had brought six ballot boxes from two polling stations at Dhuli Lower Secondary School and two returning officers. The chopper collected six ballot boxes from two polling stations at Kanda’s Dhalaun Secondary School, along with returning officers, and landed at Kanda Secondary School polling station. The chopper had space to accommodate three ballot boxes and just one more person. A dispute broke out after party representatives insisted on boarding the chopper. The helicopter was stranded for half an hour on the premises of Kanda Secondary School due to the dispute. The captain failed to convince representatives of both the left and democratic alliances. Consequently, he returned without taking the ballot boxes.

Bastola said ballot boxes would be transported to the headquarters Chainpur from Kanda Secondary School through land route. Kanda Rural Municipality is 90 km away from Chainpur. “It will take around two days to ferry the ballot boxes to the headquarters via land route”, Bastola said.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Army helicopter could not collect ballot boxes from Bhotkhola’s Kimathanka, Thudam, Ridak, Hunggung, Hatiya, Chepuwa, Chyamtang, Silichong’s Dipjyoti and Makalu’s Gauthal polling centres in Sankhuwasabha district due to adverse weather.