Janakpur, December 1
The holy city of Janakpur is already immersed in provincial and federal parliamentary elections scheduled for next week. The likely tough competition between two heavyweights–Rajendra Mahato of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal and Bimalendra Nidhi of Nepali Congress–has drawn the attention of not only voters here, but other politics enthusiasts of the country.
Observing election campaigns of both the leaders, it is very clear that both have taken the elections as a do-or-die situations. Consequently, they have turned excessively aggressive against each-other. In separate conversations with Onlinekhabar, the leaders not only highlighted their development agendas, but tried hard to defame the opponents.
Mahato projects Nidhi as an anti-Madheshi leader who played a key role in drafting of the constitution that curtailed rights of citizens and the politician to have killed Madheshi people who resorted to demonstrations for their rights.
Commenting on reports that murder accused former lawmaker Sanjaya Kumar Sah has extended support to Nidhi, Mahato also says Nidhi turned the holy city of Janakpur into a hub of criminals and he was promoting criminalisation of politics.
He rules out speculations that top leaders of the two parties were discussing formation of an alliance by making Mahato withdraw the candidacy and support Nidhi.
“He is the one who opened fire on Madheshis and deprived them of their rights. In fact, people are telling me here that he is the biggest anti-Madheshi,” he said, “I cannot think of withdrawing myself to make him win the polls from the capital of Madhesh.”
On the other hand, Nidhi says Mahato does not have any development agenda and decided to contest the polls from Janakpur just to effect his defeat.
“While he wants to chase me away, I want to serve my people,” he said, “I want to develop Janakpur. But, he has not talked about constructing schools and roads and universities here.”
He says Mahato’s election campaigns are evident of lack of his affection to the city as they are focused on Nidhi’s defamation only.
“I do not know why he came here because he does not have any affection for this constituency. Neither is he from this place. So why shall I feel under pressure? People of this place have given me responsibility [to represent them].”
Nidhi said Mahato was not a ‘heavyweight’ candidate as leading a small party would not earn any strength regarding polls.
The former deputy prime minister claimed that CPN-UML and its Chairman KP Sharma Oli mobilised Mahato to defeat him in Janakpur.
Like Nidhi, Mahato is also equally confident of his victory.
“Where am I from? I am the son of Madhesh,” he says, “Janakpur is the heart of Madhesh movement. Therefore, I will contest from here to endorse the movement.”
“Now, Nidhi’s rule is over and the polls will herald bidhi‘s rule (rule of law) in Janakpur. It is his last episode.”