By Our Reporter
Increasing incidents of explosions targeting the candidates and their vehicles have posed a serious security threat to the voters as well as the candidates.
The explosions and arsenic activities that started from Rukum targeting Maoist-Centre leader Janardan Sharma have spread throughout the country in recent days targeting leaders of almost all political parties. The sporadic incidents of explosions first limited only in the hills have now also reached the Tarai.
Besides Sharma of the Maoist Centre, Barshaman Pun and former speaker Onsari Gharti of the same party, NC senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and Sherdhan Rai of the CPN-UML had already become the targets of the explosions. Dr Mahat and Poudel narrowly escaped the fatal attacks.
Likewise, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated targeting an election campaign of Kham Bahadur Garbuja, a Nepali Congress candidate for the federal parliament, at Beni Municipality-2 in Myagdi while bombs were exploded at a mass meeting sites of the Nepali Congress and the left alliance in Okhaldhunga.
In Saknhuwasabha, an unidentified group set a land Cruiser motor on fire in Chainpur of Sankhuwasabha and motorcycles in Rasuwa. A pressure cooker bomb was blown in a motor used by NC candidate Om Karki for the state assembly in Bara.
Although the police arrested nearly 300 individuals suspecting their involvement in the series of explosions, incidents of blasts have gone unabated. The CPN-led by Netra Bikram Chand has been blamed for all the explosions.
While the series of explosions have terrified both the voters and candidates across the country, the Home Ministry, that should maintain the security has been without minister since long. Prime Minister Sher bahadur Deuba has been looking after the portfolio of the Home Ministry after he removed Jandardan Sharma from the post of the Home Ministry. Due to his busy schedule, the PM has not time to reach the Home Ministry. In a month, he reached the Home Ministry only on Monday to chair a meeting of the security chiefs.
The Prime Minister is also unable to give the responsibility of Home Affairs to any minister as there have been several leaders willing to lead the Home Ministry.
However, the chiefs of the security bodies and authorities at the Home Ministry have claimed that they were capable to provide security during the elections. According to them, 300,000 security personnel and 98,000 temporary police will be mobilised to provide security in the elections.