The historic elections of the constituent assembly is finally going to be held on the third postponed date due to the strong commitment of the major political parties of the coalition government but repetition of old character of political parties for the selection of candidates had raised serious question on whether the CA poll be able to make the new Nepal.
The political parties that had vowed to correct their past mistakes during the people's movement 2006 continued to act accordingly and exhibited old nature during selection of candidates for the CA polls. Of the 240 candidates for the first past to post electoral system, most of the old faces were repeated for the nominations and the political parties mostly neglected the emergency youth leadership that constitutes nearly the half of the country's population. As the CA poll is historic and going to decide the future of new Nepal the role of youth largely neglected and rather than ensuring representation of all sectors, top brass of the major political parties distributed tickets to their blind supporters regardless of the contribution they had made for the party.
As distribution of ticket mostly depended in the mercy of the top brass, the committed party cadres felt neglected by the party, while those who got the ticket seemed overjoyed. Not only Nepali Congress, which always has to face internal rift for distribution of tickets to the blind supporters of party top brass, CPN-UML also caught into the controversy. However, there was not such situation within Maoists as party cadres follow strict guidelines of the party but reports said, some Maoist cadres started leaving party portfolio after being dissatisfied in distribution of tickets for the member of CA. Gagan Thapa, an influential leader of Nepali Congress, who is taken as the role model of majority of youths, commented that the distribution of ticket in Nepali Congress is similar to distribution of Birta during Rana Period. Ranas used to distribute properties to their near and dear ones as reward for being loyal to them. As these are the realities about the CA polls and distribution of tickets for the CA poll, I was able to see these realities in Tribhuvan International Airport during my hour long stay there on 24th February. I not only get the chance to interact with leadership of various parts of the country but to see the inner part of the Nepali politics.
I have been able to meet over a dozen party leaders, who had got the chance to file candidacy for the CA poll. The day was one day before the date for filing the candidacy for the First Past to Post election. All the leaders are rushing to their districts to file candidacy. The leaders seemed overjoyed for getting ticket for the CA poll. They were overjoyed not because they are winning the upcoming the CA poll or not because the party had recognized their contribution, but because they have been able to get the ticket despite heavy pressure from disgruntled group and able to please the party high command. One of the candidates confessed with this writer that they have to be happy in just getting ticket as it is not predictable and their contribution do not count in the race for ticket. Though the leaders are overjoyed to get the ticket but they still had the fear that dissatisfied groups may file candidacy in the election or they have to face intra-party campaign against them. Some leaders were not confident about winning the election, but they are happy as they were able to defeat their rivals factions of the party. Some of the leaders seemed busy giving orders to their cadres in the district to prepare for filing candidacy on the next day, while some seemed busy informing their well-wishers about their selection and getting congratulation from them. One person, who is fighting from Kaski told his cadres in the district that he did not know till yesterday about his nomination and coming there to file the candidacy and request them to make necessary preparation. Most of the leaders are accompanied by one of their cadres.
Though I used to feel annoying to wait at the Airport, but I enjoyed my stay this time, as I have been able to study the nepotism and favouritism prevalent at the Nepali Politics. Though, I did not dared to ask with leaders that with this mentality how they are going to make new Nepal, but the question started haunting me after listening the conversations of prospective Members of the CA that will frame the constitution of New Nepal, which is free from all sorts of discrimination. I remembered the face of many poor Nepalis, who are still hoping that the CA poll would contribute to solve their woes.
As, I became able to get some insights of Nepali politics during my stay at Airport, I was pleased to see some of the Netajyus (leaders) in the same board to Nepalgunj, a city of mid-west. One of the influential leaders of CPN-UML, Bam Dev Gautam was also flying in the same plane. I feel proud to fly with such a great leaders, whose bold personality had impressed me from my childhood. I along with some candidates of Members of the Constituent Assembly flew to Nepalgunj in flight number 405 of Buddha Air. I have been realizing the importance of visionary leadership. Lalu Prasad Yadav, an Indian leader, who is known as corrupt but he had contributed to uplift the Indian railway. I used to face criticism of being pessimistic when I say that Nepali leaders lack such vision but I concluded that my guess was correct when I got the chance to fly with comrade Bamdev. As far I know the leaders should follow the general rules if they are using public vehicle or public route, but comrade Bamdev preferred some differential treatment during the flight. Comrade Bamdev, who preferred to be ferried upto the aircraft in a separate vehicle seemed underestimating other people, who are also in the board. The air hostage of the flight also used to give VIP treatment to him. She seemed forgetting that all the passengers are paying same money for the flight and they were entitled equal facilities. However, the great comrade did not seemed feeling superior than others in the flight, such feudal character of influential leader of the political party raised suspicion that is New Nepal is possible with such tendency. Not only comrade Bamdev, most of the Nepalese leaders are of such character. They bow to the people's feet during the elections and rule the people after being elected in the elections. I prefer flying with Buddha, though it is expensive, we used to fly with Buddha due to its reputation for sharp time and reliable service but the nature of its staffs to its customers loosing its charm among its customers day by day.
[Mr. Baidya, who had worked in mainstream Nepali media are currently working as freelance journalist and can be reached at Pratibedan@hotmail.com]
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