Muslim man wins election from a Hindu party in Jhapa's Kachankawal Rural Municipality

KAKADBHITTA: His name is Anjar Alamand. He is a Muslim. But he has won the local level election from a party that is advocating for reinstating Nepal as a Hindu state.

Alamand has been elected the chairman of the Kachanakawal Rural Municipality from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), which is considered a pro-Hindu party. Alamand's victory has send out a message of religious harmony and tolerance at a time when the Nepali society is subtly fragmented on ethnic and religious line.

Kachanakawal lies in the southern belt of Jhapa district and is a place in the country at the lowest altitude from the sea level. This rural municipality was formed by merging the erstwhile Kechana, Baniyani, Pathariya among other Village Development Committees (VDCs).

Alamand is also very popular in the locality. He was elected a member of the District Development Committee from Kachanakawal itself. A seasoned politician Almand is RPP's long-time leader.

"He has formed the image of an honest leader and a people's servant," RPP general secretary Rajendra Lingden said of Alamand. Lingden said his election to the post of chairman of the rural municipality in such adverse condition for the party highlights his popularity.

Alamand's election victory was declared on Sunday night itself. Another RPP candidate Nimsari Rajbanshi has been elected to the post of vice-chairperson of Kachanakawal Rural Municipality.

The RPP held a victory rally on Monday and Almand was acknowledging the greetings from hundreds of supporters and waving to the mass like a hero.

The team of the party candidates who won the election including Almand took oath at the Kali Temple at Baniyani Bazaar not to indulge in corruption. He made a vow that they would not take even one paisa more than what facilities they are legally entitled to.

"Nepal's identity should be as a Hindu state but our party has never said that all the people should be Hindus," Alamand said in response to the public's query as how he, a son of a Muslim, supported a pro-Hindu party.