Tuesday, 23 July, 2024

Bickering Must End

In the old regimes, centralisation of power and development budget had their tolls on the grassroots empowerment, capacity building and balanced economic prosperity. Local level development witnessed a prolonged slump and political void in absence of elected representatives for nearly two decades. But today, we live in a totally different political environment featured by devolution of power and decentralisation of development. This is the normative requirement in a democratic society. People had participated in democratic movements to usher in a new political system with aspirations for balanced development of backward region, poor class and marginalised communities. Political restructuring in Nepal sought to break the political stereotype that made the power and money centralised. Only in a decentralised dispensation can people discover their full potential and participate in development and prosperity campaign. This is the spirit of the federal republican set up. The nation has conducted historic three-tier elections, including that of the local level bodies. Now the local people and their representatives have become the custodians of development at the local level.

Local and state level development has gained new pace and vigour but some incoherence and inhibitions are still continuing in some places. The obstacles may be mere residues of the long political void at the local level or the lack of desired political culture in the newfound political structures, they are creating unwarranted confusion in the grassroots development works. In this regard, a news report carried by this daily brings to notice local development snags that have surfaced in Sarlahi district. Lack of working harmony, understanding and over priority to personal ego might have made things difficult. Differences and discords also surface over the issue of spoils sharing. These are the anomalies that call for early resolution so that development works can go ahead smoothly to meet public aspirations. According to the news report, 11 municipalities and nine Gaupalikas of Sarlahi are unable to carry out development works smoothly due to clashes between the State Assembly members and mayors. There are also conflicts between mayors and deputy mayors and between mayors and ward chiefs.

There might be difference of ideologies and party policies but it is sad to see those differences spilling over development issues. A multiparty polity calls for a crucial political culture of converging at a common point of agreement for development. Consensus for development is essential because differences among the officials and people’s representatives adversely affect the beneficiaries. Such a tendency only sets off public frustration and disenchantment. In many municipalities, mayors and deputy mayors come from different parties and they often find themselves at odds while implementing development works. The conflicts between mayors and deputy mayors have taken such a nasty turn that office lock-ups have occurred. It is really unwelcome when the two representatives are seen to have set up separate offices. There are reportedly Gaupalikas in the district where the chiefs and ward chiefs are in quarrelsome terms. They are not in speaking terms and hate to see each other eye to eye. Such a bickering culture should come to an end. The development works must take desirable course.