Poll code of conduct slashes publicity cost

Bajura, November 5

Leaders and candidates of various forces preparing for the forthcoming provincial and parliamentary election under the first-past-the-post system scheduled for November 26 in Bajhang and Bajura said that their election publicity cost had gone down massively in the districts compared to the local level elections earlier this year.

As the Election Commission amended the election code of conduct and curbed unnecessary election expenses, their expense had gone down. “The candidates vying for chairperson post in the local level election had printed t-shirts worth more than 5 to 7 lakh rupees. If the EC had not amended the code of conduct, the candidates would have spent around Rs 2.5 million rupees in printing t-shirts alone or the polls. But this is not happening now. So, there has been huge reduction of election expenses,” said Bajura CPN-UML Publicity Department Chief Amar Khadka.

Amending the election code of conduct, the Election Commission had, on October 9, banned printing and distribution of jackets, shirts, t-shirts, hats, towels and other stickers or bags with their election symbol. “This election seems to be the cheapest,” said Nepali Congress Bajhang District President Harkajung Bahadur Singh. The leaders have not printed any materials except flags, said Singh. “This proves that we can reform policy and strictly implement measures,” said Singh.

Dharma Raj Padhyaya, ward Chairperson of Badimalika -7, Bajura, who had spent thousands of rupees despite his poor economic situation in the recent local level election, expressed happiness with the reformed election code of conduct. “I spent more than Rs 1 lakh printing t-shirts in the local polls. If such rule was made and strictly implemented then, the candidates’ money would not be wasted,” said Padhyaya.

However, entrepreneurs printing, stitching and selling such publicity iteams, said that their trades had remarkably gone down due to the new election rule. “Bags and t-shirts worth more than 1 million was sold in the local level election but I have not received any order so far,” regretted Madan Jethara, a Martadi entrepreneur.

CPN-UML Bajhang Logistics Management and Distribution Committee Coordinator Janmejaya Joshi said that they had to spend thousands of rupees on t-shirt printing, hats and bags cross the district in the past election. “Now, it has become very easy,” he said. Nepali Congress Bajhang candidate for parliamentary election Prithvi Bahadur Singh said that they had adopted new ways of canvassing with voters.