Why did you give the sickle and hammer to the Maoists?
While filing for election symbols, the Maoists had put the sickle and hammer as their top choice. We just gave them the symbol of their preference. Even in India it works in a similar way. We changed it when there was opposition from other parties.
So if the other communist parties object to the new symbol, will you change it again?
No. They have to agree.
What was the outcome of the mock poll?
That's for our internal use and we don't intend to make it public. We are testing our managerial ability. There were two different ballots, and we wanted to see if voters would be able to vote and what problems could arise. We have not analysed the outcome yet.
Can we assume that the election will go smoothly in November?
The poll showed that people are conscious and alert. We won't have any problems from a managerial standpoint.
But there is uncertainty about the polls.
The political parties so far have reassured us that the election will take place. The dates won't change.
You yourself are from the tarai, how can you say elections will happen without solving the problem there?
Yes, the madhesi issue has become a cause for national concern. The government has assured us that the problem will be addressed, and talks are now taking place. The constituent assembly is of importance to everyone, so we believe all sectors will cooperate with us.
Have the constituencies been delineated?
That is a constitutional process and won't affect us. We look at the total number of voters as long as they don't divide one VDC into two different constituencies, we do not have problem with even a last-minute delineation.