Elected local reps of Bharatpur unable to work

Chitwan, July 19

Over two months have passed since the first phase of the civic poll was held. However, as many as 135 elected representatives, including ward chairs and ward members from 27 wards of Bharatpur Metropolitan City are still uncertain when they will assume their duty.

Since vote counting of Wards No 19 and 20 has been stalled, the elected representatives have not been administered oath of office and secrecy. Narendra Kadangwa, chair of Ward No 12 said that his team could not work as expected by the people as they were yet to be administered oath of office. “People come with problems, but, we can do nothing as we don’t have authority,” Kadangwa said. He complained that he could not work in line with the promise made during polls. Ward No 22 Chair Bishnu Mahato said that tearing of ballot papers during vote counting had done injustice to the people. “It is unfortunate that we can do nothing to meet people’s expectations,” Mahato said.

Chandramitra Pandit , chair of Ward No 3 said that he felt defeated despite having won the polls. Gyan Prasad Khanal, chair of Ward No 26 stated that the apex court should issue a verdict pronto — recounting or re-polling. Executive Officer Premraj Joshi at Bharatpur Metropolis said that lack of elected representatives had hit budget making and policy level works hard at the office. “The metropolis is having a hard time implementing big projects,” Joshi said.

When vote counting was under way at Ward No 19 in Bharatpur metropolis, CPN-Maoist Centre representatives tore the ballot papers. After the incident, vote counting was halted. Vote counting of Ward No 20 is yet to be carried out. A case has been filed at the Supreme Court to decide whether to recount the votes or conduct re-polling at Ward No 19. The final hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 23 after repeated postponements.

CPN-UML mayoral candidate Devi Gyawali is leading, while NC’s candidate Parbati Shah is ahead in the deputy mayoral race. Inability on the part of elected representatives to assume office has let down the public.