Poll candidates face an uphill struggle to win over disillusioned voters in Kathmandu-2

Kathmandu, December 3

With the second phase of provincial and parliamentary elections drawing closer, candidates contesting for parliamentary seat from Kathmandu-2 have stepped up their door-to-door campaign.

CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal is contesting for the parliamentary seat from the constituency against Nepali Congress’ Deepak Kuinkel. Both the leaders had won election in the past. However, voters here said they were left with a hard choice.

“They visited our house during election in the past and now they have come again seeking votes. Let alone other things, they didn’t even blacktop the roads in our area. How can we support such candidates,” said Bandana Dhakal of Gairigaun.

Parbati Gurung, who runs a newspaper shop in  Sinamagal, said that the contest had become a tough one with both candidates intensifying their campaigns.”My family supported the NC’s candidate in the past election, but this time we are undecided,” she said.

Gurung also said that the old leaders had left them disillusioned and hence they could vote for a new candidate.

Sanjeeb Sapkota, another local, however, said that voters had not changed much since the last election. “Young voters might be attracted to new faces, but their family members would still vote for candidates from the same traditional parties,” he said.

Shiva Lamichhane, a resident in Gaushala, said this time around there could be a bipolar contest as two major parties had formed alliances. “People here will vote either for Madhav Kumar Nepal or Dipak Kuinkel,” he said. Lamichhane also said that voters would not be swayed by promises parliamentary candidates made.

“People here understand that their ward chair has more role to play in the development of their areas than candidates for parliamentary seats,” he added. He also said now people would evaluate candidates on the basis of their past performance.

UML cadre Upendra Paudel of Thali said Nepal had the advantage of being a candidate of the left alliance and his personality as a gentle leader.

NC cadres on the other hand claimed that Kuinkel is more popular among the locals. “Because of his intimacy with the locals, he is more likely to win from the constituency,” said Purusottam Bhandari, an NC supporter. “Kuinkel enjoys the support of locals for his development endeavours in last three years” , said another NC cadre, Ananta Prasad Kuinkel.

The constituency has a total of 74,756 voters.