Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary

Elections 2022

The government has started tightening security in Mahottari district ahead of the elections for the House of Representatives and the Provincial Assembly scheduled for November 20. 

The District Administration Office, Mahottari has declared 143 polling stations ’highly sensitive’ and 114 ‘sensitive’ considering the district’s open border with India.

The declaration comes at a when party leaders, candidates and workers have started to ramp up their activities, heating the election atmosphere in the district. 

Chief District Officer (CDO) Deepak Pahadi said the security arrangements were being strengthened to rule out any possible intrusions. 

“The local administration is already involved in election-related security arrangements,” CDO Pahadi said, explaining that 1,500 Nepal Police personnel and 2,800 temporary police forces had been deployed for the purpose.

“Besides, personnel from the Armed Police Force (APF) and the Nepal Army will be deployed as needed for election security.” 

The security agencies have been monitoring the situation around the polling stations in the district. 

The DAO has been coordinating with Nepal Police, APF and Nepal Army, CDO Pahadi said, “We are constantly observing the situation and possible challenges in all the polling stations.”

The elections will be held at 258 polling stations and 499 polling centres in the district. 

According to the District Election Office Mahottari, 236 candidates are contesting for four seats at the House of Representatives and eight at the Provincial Assembly from Mahottari. There are 397,300 registered voters, including 181,898 women and one third gender (other), in the district. 

Pahadi, who also chairs the District Security Committee, said they had also been in contact with the security officers of the Indian districts of Madhubani and Sitamadhi, which share about 39 km border with Mahottari district. “We are in constant dialogue about border security.” 

According to the District Security Committee, the polling stations and centres have been classified into three levels – highly sensitive, sensitive and normal – based on the geographical location of the district, social environment, and criminal activities, among other factors.

Along with the election preparations, the committee has increased public relations. It is gathering information on the security situation through direct interviews with the general public. 

He said preparations had been made for the deployment of security forces from Armed Police, Nepal Police and Nepali Army as per the poll-targeted security arrangements.

The AFP will command security patrols with particular attention to the safety of the election officer’s office, district election office, polling station and candidate’s safety, and monitoring of the code of conduct.

“Arrangements have been made to enable voters to cast their ballot without fear,” Pahadi said, urging political parties and all candidates to cooperate with the local administration and security agencies to ensure free and fair elections.

With RSS inputs

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