By Our Reporter
The local level elections’ vote count in Bharatpur Metropolitan City has been postponed since Sunday midnight.
The vote count was postponed for indefinite period after the representatives of the Maoist-Centre tore the ballot papers when Maoist mayoral candidate RenuDahal failed to garner expected votes from Ward No 19 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City.
The Maoist cadres are accused of tearing the ballot paper deliberately with an ill-intention of compelling the Election Commission to hold re-election in the ward.
However, the act of the Maoist cadres, who were arrested red-handed drew public criticism.
The EC has constituted a committee to probe the incident and it is not sure whether the EC would hold new election or resume vote counting.
The Maoists tore the ballot paper when counting of 19th ward was at the final stage. The results of the poll were to be out after counting the vote of Ward No. 20.
Both thw Ward No 19 and 20 were strongholds of NC and the Maoist-Centre had expected more votes from these wards as Maoist and NC had forged election alliance in Bharatpur. But when RenuDahal failed to get the expected votes it prompted her representatives to tear the ballot papers.
The Chief Election Official’s Office issued a notice announcing the postponement of the count of ballot papers for indefinite period following the incident.
The CPN (UML) has accused CPN (Maoist Centre) cadres of shredding the ballot papers. The Maoist Centre also accuses UML cadres of tearing up the papers.
District Police Office, Chitwan’s Superintendent of Police (SP), Deepak Thapa, said the police arrested Maoist Centre cadres DronBabuShiwakoti and IshworSapkota and UML’s Gangalal Lama. But Lamal was released immediately.
CPN (UML) mayoral candidate Devi Prasad Gyawali is 755 votes ahead of Maoist Centre candidate RenuDahal.
What the Maoists did in Chitwan showed that they have not yet over the hangover of bullet they fired at the people during the 10-year insurgency.