KATHMANDU, Nepal- The elections for the second Constituent Assembly (CA) is likely to be a real battle for some top political leaders as they are challenged by their own cadres, supporters in the ballot run.
With the Election Commission wrapping the lists of the candidates for the First-Past-The-Post elections slated for November 19 on Tuesday evening, many of the senior political leaders of the major political parties have been challenged by their own supporters and cadres.
From top politicos like Chairman of the Unified CPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, Vice-president of the party Ram Chandra Poudel, popular NC youth leader Gagan Thapa to other influential leaders like Ram Chandra Jha of UCPN (Maoist) have to face the dissatisfaction of their party cadres in votes.
And political analysts say, the move would have its implications in the elections. As some of the proxies are very influential at local level, their candidacy would costs the leaders much, analysts opined.
Among the proxies, NC chief Koirala will face tough competition from his party’s youth leader Bikash Koirala, the former president of the NC Chitwan District Committee, in Chitwan-4. Bikash had filed his nomination papers from both Chitwan-3 and 4, but after the party president decided to contest from Chitwan-4, Bikash challenged the constituency, while withdrawing from constituency 3.
In the same way, NC’s Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel has never lost an election in his pet constituency in Tanahun-2 since 1991. However, this time around, he will face a strong proxy in the form of Purna Bahadur Gurung in the same constituency. Party insiders say Gurung is likely to take away a significant chunk of Poudel’s otherwise regular votes. NC leader Gagan Thapa, who was elected to the party’s central committee in the 2010 general convention, will see Suprabha Ghimire contesting against him in Kathmandu-4. Ghimire, an influential woman leader in the party, had won the 2008 election from the same constituency.
The party’s decision to field Thapa in Kathmandu-4 did not go down well with Ghimire, who, in turn, filed her candidacy from the same constituency as an independent candidate.
While there are not as many proxies in the UCPN (Maoist) as it is in the NC, the party is not trouble-free. Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been challenged in Kathmandu-10 by his own cadre, Padam Kunwar, who shot to fame after he slapped Dahal at a public function last year. Kunwar is fighting as an independent candidate.
UCPN (Maoist) leader Ram Chandra Jha is facing a strong proxy in Yog Kumar Yadav (popularly known as Shrawan Yadav) from Dhanusha-1.
UML leader Yem Lal Kandel is also facing a proxy candidate from Surkhet-2, Shiv Prasad Upadhyaya.
According to the EC, 6,352 candidates registered under the FPTP election system slated for November 19.
The election would have painted the different picture had the other 185 dissenting leaders did not have withdrawn their candidacy on Tuesday, political pundits said.