Nepal Today

Sunday, July 14, 2013



Kathmadu, 15 July: CPN Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhaya Sunday ruled out conditional talks with government or leaders of four major parties to address his party demands to participate in the 19 November elections.
Five demands, including suspension of election related activities and a roundtable conference, have been pushed  by the main opposition party.
“They [government and four parties] are not serious,  Baidhaya said in the capital rejecting government and high-level political mechanism (HLPM) verbal invitation for talks to address opposition demands.
The leader of the party that split from UCPN Maoist
also said his party won’t talk if other 32 parties in his coalition aren’t invited.
Four leading parties backing government have welcomed the formation of a negotiating team by CPN Maoist to negotiate its demands.
The four parties attempting to form what they call an environment for elections said demand for a roundtable conference can be discussed while rejecting other demands for scrapping the 11-point and 25-point agreements
that culminated in the formation of the Khil Raj Regmi government more than three months ago when political parties couldn’t assemble a government because of mutual mistrust.
A government of retired civil servants headed by a chief justice was formed to conduct elections/


Kathmandu, 15 July: Nepalis’ tendency to procrastinate was evident today when crowds thronged the Kathmandu district election office, a day before the deadline for voter registration ends. Voter registration has been going on for two-and-a-half years but the number of people coming for registration never crossed a few hundred on any day but today more than 5,000 turned up, The Himalayan Times reports.!

“Everyday I thought I will register tomorrow but the tomorrow never came,” says Bimala Marasini, 38, who was among those upon whom it suddenly dawned today that they have to register for voting.

Shambhu Prashad Chalise, District Election Officer, told THT: “Where were the people for the last two-and-a-half years when the government officials visited every ward, every VDC for registration? What were they doing when the information was conveyed via newspapers, FM radio and television? Some may have a valid reason but others were plain lazy. We are doing our best but such large numbers are hard to handle.” The Election Commission had registered 12.2 million voters until yesterday and expects the number to reach slightly more than 12.3 million by tomorrow when the deadline ends, according to Chief Election Commissioner Nilkantha Uprety. The EC is yet to verify how many voters were registered today, said EC Spokesperson Bir Bahadur Rai. Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala was among those who registered his name at EC office being set up in Kathmandu District Administration Office today.

Asked if the Election Commission would extend the deadline for voters’ registration as sought by some political parties, particularly the Madhesi parties, Uprety said, “We’ll see whether we can extend the deadline. We’ll have to carefully examine several things before we take any decision on the matter.”


Kathmandu, 15 July: At a time when the entire nation is preparing for elections, Bajura folks are starving, Prakash Singh writes in the Himalayan Times from Bjjura..

As in the previous year, the people of Bajura are reeling under acute food shortage this year too. The difference is, the situation has worsened after the government curtailed the rice quota to Bajura this fiscal.

Kolti Rice Depot, which distributes subsidised rice to villagers every Sunday, has run out of stock and has been closed.

Hence, it is not surprising that rice availability is of greater concern to Bajura folks than CA polls.

Kathane Luwar of Kotila VDC says the locals might boycott elections in Bajura due to rice scarcity. “Once we elect the leaders, they will go to the Capital and fulfil their own vested interest. But, we have to forever struggle for rice,” Luwar complained.

Luwar, who had arrived at Kolti Food Corporation after a day’s walk, was visibly angry as he had to return empty-handed today.

“We can’t think about elections on empty stomach,” Luwar said.

He further warned of banning the entry of party leaders into the village if they are forced to starve during CA polls.

Like, Luwar, hundreds of hapless folks have had to return empty-handed after the depot did not open today.

Kalche BK, another local, said,”Party leaders just come to the village to solicit votes during the polls. While they live comfortably in the cities, we are always treated as second class citizens.

Kalche said he would not vote if he did not get rice during the elections.

“There is no point of casting ballot on an empty stomach.”

Kolti Depot has been distributing subsidised rice to 11 VDCs, including Rugin, Bichhya, Kolti, Badhu, Sappata, and Wai. Kolti Depot Chief Ramesh Bahadur Singh said they were forced to shut the depot after it ran out of stock.

Around 4,500 quintals of rice was appropriated for Kolti depot this fiscal.

Singh said had the depot distributed the rice as per the need of local residents, it would not have lasted even for six months.

Though, the rice quota allocated for Bajura headquarters Martadi depot was 6,500 quintals, they have hardly 300 quintals of rice left. Sixteen VDCs are dependent on Martadi depot and 11 Northern VDCs on Kolti depot for rice.

Saying the rice stock would only last for two more weeks, Nepal Food Corporation’s Bajura District Chief Basudev Bhatta asked the government to provide rice at the earliest.

Bhatta said he has been frequently writing to the corporation’s regional and central offices.

According to Bhatta, the government had dispatched 11,000 quintals of rice this year compared to 17,000 quintals of rice the previous year. The district faces rice shortage for 10 months every year.

The District Agriculture Development Office estimated that Bajura, which has 27 VDCs, requires at least 110,000 quintals of rice per year. DADO said there’s an annual shortfall of more than 70,000 quintals.


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