Balen for Kathmandu mayor: Your FAQs answered

Balen says his objective is to create a healthy environment where the public is both mentally and physically well.
Balen says his objective is to create a healthy environment where the public is both mentally and physically well.

Balen, a rapper and engineer, has stirred some controversy since announcing his candidacy for the mayor of Kathmandu metropolitan city. His popularity is growing day by day. He has appeared in a variety of media outlets and discussed his perspective. Kathmandu, the largest city in Nepal in terms of voters, has already received nominations from over 50 contenders for the position of mayor. But, of them, Balen, sometimes referred to as his real name Balendra Shah, is gaining a lot of attention. However, it is entirely up to the people to decide whether he will win or lose.

Here, Onlinekhabar is presenting you with the answers to your frequently asked questions about his candidacy as an independent candidate.

  1. Who is Balen?

    Balen Shah. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale local level

    Balen is one of the renowned figures in the Nepali music scene, especially in the hip-hop community. He is a rapper and also a structural engineer. His real name is Balendra Shah. In the upcoming local elections, he has filed a nomination for the post of mayor of Kathmandu metropolitan city.

  2. Why is Balen in politics?

    Balen says Nepal’s government system has always disappointed him. The public has to go through a lot of hassles even to acquire simple documents from government offices. According to him, he wants to change this situation. Also, he aspires to upgrade the infrastructure of Kathmandu if he becomes the mayor. For that, he claims that his educational background in structural engineering is an asset.

    Moreover, the engineer-rapper is also frustrated with the elderly leaders who have been in the topmost position for a long time. His election campaign is, hence, running under the theme #BalenForMayor #AbaYuvaKoPalo [It is now youngers’ turns]”.
    The 31-year-old has advocated for social issues through his songs for a long time. However, now, he wants to solve them for real after winning the position of the mayor.

  3. What does Balen want to do after winning the mayoral position?

    File: Balendra Shah aka Balen Shah

    Balen says his objective is to create a healthy environment where the public is both mentally and physically well. Likewise, he says his focus will be on the development of education, sanitation and waste management along with the availability of water for all, preserving art and culture, increasing tourism and controlling pollution. 

  4. Will Balen win the Kathmandu mayor election?

    Balen says he expects to get 90,835 votes in the upcoming local elections. He has talked about it in various interviews. His assumption regarding the votes has drawn criticism from different areas, and it also has been labelled illogical. This is probably the biggest thing he has been highly criticised for since his announcement to run for the post of mayor. 

    He claims that 55 to 60 per cent of voters are neutral and he expects to get the votes from all those neutral individuals. 

    However, in Nepal, independent candidates rarely win major elections. Hence, political analysts rule out his victory

  5. What can you expect from Balen if he wins the Kathmandu mayor election?

    Balen Shah files his candidacy for the Kathmandu mayoral election. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale

    Nonetheless, magic may happen in the world. Hence, you can talk about what happens if he wins the election.

    Balen says he does not have lofty promises. Instead, he wants to work on simple things and avoid giant ideas such as monorails. 

    He intends to start an infrastructured ambulance to keep the city’s infrastructure in good shape. Likewise, he has ambitions to improve educational standards. He promises to make public schools superior to private schools. Rather than the existing regular curriculum, he wants to emphasise practical instruction. He feels that doing so will make it easier for students to find employment and opportunities. In every available industry, he promises to implement cashless transactions. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other important documents will also be provided to the residents online.

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