Chaudhary, Rawal vying for CM post in Province 7

Dhangadhi, January 31

After the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre forged consensus to allow the Maoist Centre to lead the government in Province 7, people have started speculating on who will be the chief minister from among different aspirants.

There were many aspirants from both the CPN-UML and the Maoist Centre for the CM’s post before the parties forged agreement on letting the Maoists form the government in the province.

Lawmaker Birman Chaudhary from Kailali, Jhapat Bohara  and Akkal Rawal elected from Achham, Maheshdutt Joshi from Kanchanpur and Trilochan Bhatta from Doti were contenders for the post.

Chaudhary, a politburo member of the Maoist Centre, who is senior-most among the contenders, is deemed the possible candidate for the post. A Maoist leader said that Chaudhary was the senior most out of 14 provincial assembly members.

The Maoist party is under moral pressure to choose the chief minister from the Tharu community as it was the Maoists who had envisioned the Tharuhat state and it had run the Tharuwan government during the insurgency.

Out of nine districts in Province 7, the Tharu community has majority in Kailali and Kanchanpur.

Voices to have a CM from the Tharu community in order to accommodate the sentiments of the Tharu people are strong inside the Maoist Centre.

Many say that making a Tharu the CM will help to heal divisions seen during the ‘intact far-west’ and ‘Tharuhat’ agitation.

In the provincial assembly of 53, eight members are from the Tharu community.

Similarly, the possibility of Jhapat Bohara being chief minister is also strong due to his connection with the central leadership. He said he had staked his claim for the CM’s post as he had vision of development for the province and he could maintain the balance between the hilly and Tarai regions.