22-28 November 2013 #682

Nepal 1, Baidya 0

Bidhan Shrestha, Ratopati.com, Bidhan Shrestha, 20 November

As tens of thousands of Nepalis lined up to vote at polling booths across the country on Tuesday, the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-M’s attempt to foil elections turned out to be a major failure. From organising strikes to resorting to violence, the party did everything in its power to obstruct elections in the run up to D-day. Their strategy backfired. Except for a centre at Thawang in Rolpa, almost all places registered record high turnout. Young Nepalis, most of them first-time voters, seemed particularly excited about elections and were posting photos on Facebook and other social networking sites throughout the day.

Years of political bickering have dragged Nepal down and election was the best available option to give the country a fresh start. However, Baidya and his comrades overlooked people’s aspirations for a prosperous and peaceful Nepal and tried to force their violent ideologies. It is now abundantly clear that the dash-Maoists are out of touch with public sentiment and the party now faces an uncertain future in national politics as it contemplates ways to reach out to the people after all the anti-election drama. CPN-M leader Netra Bikram Chand had a tough time during an interview yesterday when the host asked him why his party was unsuccessful in its plans to prevent elections.

The only way the dash Maoists can resurrect their tarnished image is by reuniting with the UCPN (M) and returning to mainstream politics. It is time Baidya and his men accept defeat, apologise to the Nepali people for their mistakes, and join hands with all the parties to work for a better Nepal.

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