EDITORIAL: Gear up for polls

Other disgruntled parties who have spoken against taking part in the polls over the “revised constitution amendment” must rethink their stance

There are just 60 days left for the local level election scheduled for May 14. The government, the Election Commission (EC), security forces, political parties and their cadres have a limited time for preparations for the local level election which will pave the way for Pradesh and Parliamentary elections, both of which need to be held within January 2018 as per the constitutional provision.

The Supreme Court has also asked the government to submit a detailed plan of action regarding the preparations of three tiers of election in response to a writ petition filed seeking guarantee that the three tiers of elections shall be held on time. Although the government has said it is committed to holding the local level polls on the date already declared, its action has not been able to allay the confusion.

The EC has now said that updating the electoral rolls at ward level will be a challenging task as addresses of all 14 million registered voters have been changed after the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LBRC) created 719 local levels units and the government also added 25 more, increasing the number to 744.

There will be 6,680 wards in all local levels.

It took months for the government to accept the LBRC report which was endorsed by the Cabinet and published in the Gazette just a few days ago. The EC would have been in a comfortable position to prepare electoral rolls had the government accepted the LBRC report two months ago.

The major tasks that lie ahead for the EC include the preparation of the voters’ list, printing and distribution of identity cards, printing of ballot papers and arranging for ballot boxes. More voters will also be listed in the electoral rolls as the district election offices have yet to send the updated list of electoral rolls.

On the other hand, the LBRC’s one-year tenure expired yesterday, and it has not been able to finish the task of selecting autonomous, special and protected areas within the village councils and municipalities. Now-defunct LBRC has advised the government to form the three areas only after the local level election.

As the government has already announced the date for local level election there should not be any dilly-dallying regarding its preparations. The government must be ever ready to provide every support the EC needs to accomplish the job.

As the opposition parties have already geared up for the polls, leaders of the ruling parties should also express unequivocal commitment to the same and must not create any kind of uncertainty among the voters about the possibility of holding the polls on May 14 which is being held after almost two decades.

Other disgruntled parties who have spoken against taking part in the polls over the “revised constitution amendment” must rethink their stance. What all must bear in mind is that holding the three tiers of elections within January 2018 is the only way to take the nation towards a federal structure.

The major political parties who played vital roles in promulgating the new constitution must stand together to dispel fears about holding the local level election. The ruling parties have a bigger role to play in removing the confusion and uncertainty.

Rat terror

Rats with rabies are creating terror among the villagers in several villages of Lamjung. These rats bit dozens of domestic animals as well as humans. Rabies was confirmed in these rats after they were killed and tested in the Regional Animal Diseases Investigation Laboratory.

The concerned officials have already started administering anti-rabies vaccines to the domestic animals without charging the owners. According to the concerned experts, symptoms of rabies appear in the animals three to 14 days after they have been bitten by rabies-infected rats.

Besides taking the necessary precautions such as bringing the population of rats under control, the locals should also know about the threat these rats pose. The anti-rabies vaccines have to be administered five times to the animals so that they do not become infected with rabies from rat bites.

It is also advised to drink milk only after it has been boiled. Furthermore, meat cannot be taken while the animals are being treated. This situation demands immediate action as rats with rabies can spread to other villages nearby, with the real possibility of leading to an epidemic.