‘Battle of pride’ between Congress, UML candidates

Phidim, November 18

The upcoming parliamentary election in Panchthar is expected to be a prestige battle between candidates close to the heads of rival parties — CPN-UML and Nepali Congress.

CPN-UML has fielded former lawmaker and party energy department secretary Basanta Kumar Nembang, who is close to party chairperson KP Sharma Oli, on behalf of the left alliance, while Bhimsmaraj Angdembe, NC central member close to party president Sher Bahadur Deuba is in the fray from the district. Both are popular faces of the district, who came to fame by leading the democratic movement against the Panchayat regime in the past.

The left alliance candidate Nembang, who was elected as lawmaker in the 1991 and 1997 parliamentary polls, is the secretary of party’s water resources and energy department. Angdembe, elected in the second Constituent Assembly election from then Constituency-2, on the other hand, has served as the president of parliamentarian committee for industry, commerce and customers’ interest protection. Having played a crucial role in Deuba’s election to the presidential berth, Angdembe’s present central membership is third.

While Nembang has the support of alliance partner CPN-MC this time, NC candidate too has a support of Rastriya Prajatantra Party and other political parties. This is, however, the first rivalry between the two candidates. Panchthar has a total of three seats this time including one parliamentary and two provincial seats. While Angdembe has a challenge to defend his winning streak, for Nembang too, it will be a battle of pride.