Saunka Community Might Not be Able to Participate in the Local Level Election

  May 5, 2022 By: INSEC

The Saunka Community which has been living in Byansi Rural Municipality might be deprived of voting this year because of migration. The senior citizens and pregnant women have lamented that they won’t be able to participate in the local level election.

They have said that they have been deprived of voting as they have to go to the village to cast their votes.

According to local Amita Tinkari, senior citizens and pregnant women living in Khalanga will be deprived of voting after the polling booths were set up in the village only for the locals of Chhangaru and Tinkar of Byansi Rural Municipality Ward No. 1.

She said, “Senior citizens and pregnant women cannot go to the villages to cast their votes. Senior citizens cannot live in cold places. If the election had taken place before the migration, all senior citizens and women would have been able to vote. More than 100 voters from both the villages are not in the state to participate in the election.

Not only the pregnant women and senior citizens but also the parents who are staying at Kharalunga district headquarters to educate their children have decided not to go to the village for voting this time.

Shankar Singh Aitwal, 94, of Byans rural municipality, lamented that the senior citizens will be deprived of voting in the local level election this time.

Aitwal was also a Panchayat member during the Panchayat period and has been eager to vote. He complained that he was deprived of the right to vote as the polling station was not in a suitable place.

“We have the right to vote,” he added. However, we cannot go to the village due to the migration. We could have voted if we had set up a polling station in Khalanga, the district headquarters. It would have been good if we could vote anonymously and send it. However, the government did not think of us this time. Many elders including me, cannot go to the hills to vote. ‘

A local Dansih Tinkari complained that half of the voters in Khalanga were deprived of the right to vote when the government set up polling stations only in Chhangaru Tikar.

He said that it will take four / five days to reach the village and return after voting. If there was a route from Nepal, I would have voted and returned the next day but we have to use the route from India. The border will be closed for 72 hours. In such a situation, more than 100 voters of both the villages will be deprived of voting.’

The village can be reached only with the permission of the Indian administration. At present, 796 people, including 275 women and 521 men, have taken permission to go to the village, said Mohan Singh Dhami, head of the Border Administration Office, Darchula.

There are 416 locals seeking permission to go to Chhangaru Tinkar, 43 going outside the district for work, 80 from the Armed Police Force and 80 from the Nepal Police.

The government has designated polling stations at Kailashpati Primary School for Chhangaru and Moti Mahila Sangh Basic School for Tinkar.

According to the District Administration Office, Darchula, ballot boxes and ballot papers will be transported by helicopter.

Narendra Singh Karki