Those who call Balen Shah mobilized, Dr. Surendra’s mouth full of answers || Balen won for me

The recent local elections were full of shocks, particularly the waves of individual independent candidates that took the lead in surveys around the country. Balen Shah (also known as Balendra Shah or just Balen), a well-known vocalist of the rap genre, is one of the most prominent figures in this movement.

Balen Shah is a structural engineer who is proud of his credentials. His campaign for mayor of Kathmandu was first seen as a “joke,” and others have referred to his victory as “a fluke.” While many people have taken a polarized position on the issue, Kathmandu voters have become fanatics, and Nepali intellectuals are baffled.

Is this a case of an individual success or a political trend? Several issues arise: Is this a smear campaign against the system or the current political direction? Is this a change in voting behavior? Has chain voting and ethnic bloc voting become obsolete? What does this outcome tell us about the future?

Historically, candidates have had to consider ethnic votes while running for office. Candidates strive to win ethnic votes even in India, and this tradition is well established in Nepal’s Terai area.

Keshav Sthapit, the UML’s mayoral candidate in Kathmandu, has repeatedly encouraged people to trust him with the key cities. The ethnic bloc voters are (or were expected to be) concentrated in these key cities. This time, the core cities have disappointed Sthapit; he is not receiving the predicted ethnic bloc votes.

Is voting by ethnic groups a thing of the past? Balen Shah’s strong showing in the metropolis’s center city implies ethnic bloc voting is gradually fading. Because of his non-Newa background, intellectuals were skeptical of Balen Shah when he began campaigning. Parties have been free to enter Newa candidates in mayoral elections in order to gain “Newa votes.” Balen Shah has defied this preconception and brought about a significant shift.

The termination of bloc voting would have a significant impact on political dynamics. Because their party structures rely on this demographic, the main parties have a stronghold in the valley.

What happens if this demographic is no longer accurate? Time will tell how the various parties react. One thing is certain, however: the valley’s status quo has been shattered.

Traditional electoral campaigning is now under scrutiny. In Nepal, elections were marked by loudspeakers adorned with flags and throngs of people or motorcycles clogging the streets. That was the election of the past, with its never-ending cries and rants. Furthermore, the election was quite expensive and necessitated actual presence.

Traditional elections, on the other hand, are now a thing of the past. Balen Shah ran a digital campaign, and one of the remarks he received was, “He isn’t running for mayor of Kathmandu, but mayor of social media.” There was still some doubt about whether the online excitement would translate into political power.

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