'Battle of pride' for two alliances in Dhankuta

Dhankuta, November 10

The upcoming elections are turning into a ‘battle of pride’ for the democratic and the leftist alliance in Dhankuta. While the leftist alliance faces a challenge to defend its bastion from where it scooped a clean sweep in the civic polls earlier this year, for democratic alliance’s parliamentary candidate Sunil Bahadur Thapa, a Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Democratic leader, who hails from the district and is the son of former prime minister late Surya Bahadur Thapa, it is a compulsion to eke out a win in the home turf.

The district has one parliamentary and two provincial seats. While UML has fielded its district chairperson Rajendra Rai for the parliamentary seat on behalf of the leftist alliance, Surya Bahadur’s son and incumbent industry minister Sunil Bahadur is competing against Rai from the democratic alliance. While both the candidates for the provincial assembly from the leftist alliance are UML leaders, NC’s Manohar Narayan Shrestha and Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal’s Arjun Thapa are contesting from provincial constituency ‘ka’ and ‘kha’ respectively representing the democratic alliance in the district.

Electoral history of the district sows that UML had won both constituencies in the general election of 1991. In the successive two elections — in the mid-term election of 1994 and general election of 1999 — Rastriya Prajatantra Party’s Surya Bahadur Thapa had won from constituency-2. Similarly, while both the constituencies of the district had gone to the then Unified CPN-Maoist’s fold during the first Constituent Assembly election, UML candidate Tikaram Chemjong and current candidate Sunil Bahadur Thapa had won from Constituency-1 and 2 during the second CA elections in 2013.

The district has a total of 105,188 voters in the district where the leftist alliance is ahead of the democratic alliance with a margin of 10,000 votes, if the election results of the local elections are anything to go by.

A total of 16 candidates representing different political parties are in the fray in the district.

Majority of the candidates have adopted health, education, agriculture and tourism as their major election agenda, besides, the pledge for initiatives to declare Dhankuta the provincial capital.