Congress, left alliance brace for a tough fight in Lalitpur-2

Kathmandu, November 29

As election campaigns heat up for the second phase of provincial and parliamentary polls, voters of rural and urban areas of Lalitpur constituency-2 are seen divided in their choice of candidates.

The election race for the parliamentary seat here is between Nepali Congress leader Chandra Maharjan, who won the 2013 Constituent Assembly election with a vast difference of 9,108 votes, and Krishna Lal Maharjan of the CPN-UML from the left alliance.

Although the left alliance is likely to have advantage of votes cast by supporters of two parties, NC candidate Chandra Maharjan would still be ahead by 2,067 votes if the number of votes cast during the second Constituent Assembly election is anything to go by.

The results of local level elections held recently, however, are unsettling to NC. UML won in eight out of 10 wards of Mahalaxmi Municipality. The CPN-MC and NC won one ward each. The winning CPN-UML mayoral candidate secured 4,300 more votes than those received by the NC candidate.

The voters of Ward No 10 of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, which also lies in the same constituency, and has the largest population can play a decisive role in the elections. The ward chair’s post here was won by an independent candidate Narsing Byanjankar.

Around 60 per cent of total population here belong to Newar community, according to locals. The constituency covers all 10 Wards of Mahalaxmi Municipality and one Ward of Lalitpur Metropolitan City. However, some of the villages here are not even linked by road.

A group of elderly people, who were basking in the afternoon sun at Sundhara, Patan, said they had not yet decided who to vote for. They said they would vote for the candidate who would promise development of the area.

Kul Ratna Bajrachayra, 65, said, “People here will probably not vote the way they did during the local level elections. They were under pressure to vote for local candidates then, but in the upcoming elections things may be different. I think people will now vote for national leaders.”

Dhurba Kaji Karki, 63, of Imadol, said, “It does not matter who wins from here. Neither of the candidates are top leaders. So I will vote for the candidate who promises to bring drinking water facility to our area.”

Sunil Pokharel, 32, of Sana Gaun, who is a teacher by profession, said the candidate who won the election, no matter from which party, should address the demands of rural areas in the constituency. He said most of the rural areas in the constituency were not even linked by road. “We hope that the candidate winning the election will actually work for the people this time. It is surprising that some of the areas are not even linked by road although they are so close to the capital,” added Pokharel.