BIRGANJ (NEPAL) (TIP): Nepal went to polls on November 19 with over 50% of the electorate casting their votes till noon to elect the Constituent Assembly of the country hit by political stalemate, Maoist threats and violence. According to information received from the Election Commission, more than 50 per cent polling was reported on an average across Nepal till 1pm.
The polling in Parsa district in Tarai region started at snail’s pace amid high security across the region which will decide the fate of 211 candidates of different political parties. Overall, more than 50% votes were polled in the district till 2pm, according to CDO of Parsa, Kailash Kumar Bajiman. He said election passed off peacefully. Madhesi voters lined up outside Vanijya Karyalaya polling centre in Birganj town without any fear as some parties had called for poll boycott. One Gauri Shankar Shresth (71) went inside the booth and met a natural death immediately after casting his vote.
At Sirisiya in rural Parsa, a large number of women voters stamped their ballots. In this election, ballot papers are being used for the first time by Nepal election commission. Sarita Gurung, a young Madhesi woman teacher, said she voted in favour of a particular party because the Madhesi movement leaders were divided in a dozen factions and they failed to protect the interest and identity of Madhesis in Tarai region. She also said majority of Tarai voters were inclined towards CPN-UML and the Congress whose leaders, including Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as Prachanda, admitted during campaign that no political equation was possible without Madhesis.