Election code violation rampant in Chitwan

  • Candidates are in a competition to distribute publicity materials to influence voters

Chitwan, December 1

A monitoring team deployed by the Election Commission has found candidates and their supporters violating the election code of conduct in Chitwan.

Former Prime Minister and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is contesting against incumbent Minister Bikram Pandey of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Democratic in Chitwan-3, while former finance minister and CPN-UML leader Surendera Pandey is representing the left alliance against Rajendra Burlakoti from the democratic alliance in Chitwan-1.

The EC monitoring team said parties were found distributing publicity materials and using loudspeakers in violation of the election code of conduct. The EC team said it had directed security agencies to remove promotion materials that violated the election code of conduct.

“Candidates are in a competition to distribute publicity materials to influence voters,” Chief Returning Officer Kul Prasad Sharma told The Himalayan Times at his office in Bharatpur today.

He said a security assessment meeting held today directed security forces to remove such publicity materials. “Security personnel have started removing such materials,” said Sharma.

According to Sharma, cases of the poll code violation are less in Chitwan-2, compared to other two constituencies. UML Candidate Krishna Bhakta Pokharel and NC’s Shesh Nath Adhikari are contesting in Chitwan-2.

According to the monitoring team, security forces have been directed to remove loudspeakers and publicity materials from Ratna Nagar Municipality, while political parties concerned have been told to remove publicity materials from Geetanagar, Chockbazar, Patihani, Shivanagar, Mangalpur, Rampur and Piple.

The team has also directed authorities concerned to intensify voter education programme in all three constituencies, especially in Shaktikhor and Chepang community settlement areas.

Election commissioners Sudheer Shah and Ila Sharma are visiting Chitwan tomorrow to monitor the implementation of the poll code. They will hold a meeting with security forces, returning officers and administrative officers, said Chief Returning Officer Sharma.

There are a total of 3,540,035 registered voters in Chitwan, including 41,033 newly-registered after the local elections. Constituency-1 has 119,998 voters, Constituency-2 has 108,219 voters, and Constituency-3 has 125,818.

The political parties, however, claimed that they had not violated the election code of conduct.

NC Chitwan district President Jeet Narayan Shrestha, who is also a candidate for provincial assembly seat from Chitwan-1 ‘Ka’, said his party had not violated the poll code. “If there are any such cases, we are ready to correct it, the EC has not told us anything about such cases,” he told THT.

CPN-MC candidate Ram Lal Mahato, who is contesting provincial election from Chitwan-3 ‘’Kha’, too claimed there were no cases of the poll code violation from his party. “I have seen cadres of democratic alliance organising picnic in Madi with party flag and vehicles. But we have not done anything as such,” he said.

UML leader Pandey accused the democratic alliance of organising feasts to influence voters, but claimed the left alliance had not been involved in such activities. “We are engaged in door-to-door campaign,” he said.