Dharan election, a cause for concern for ruling NCP

Kathmandu, December 2

The Nepali Congress has made inroads into the bastion of the communists for almost six decades by bagging the mayoral seat of Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City.

The NC’s victory is a worrying sign for the NCP as it had won the last local election with a big margin.

In last local election, CPN-UML candidate Tara Subba had won by securing 20,975 votes against nearest rival Tilak Rai’s 16,102 votes. CPN-MC candidate Aindra Bikram Begha had secured 11,180 votes.

Thus the crumbling of Dharan’s red fort should be a worrying sign for the ruling party. NCP had been winning all mayoral races in Dharan since the restoration of democracy in 1990.

Even in the first local election held after the 1959 general elections, communist leader Kedarnath Khanal had won the election from Dharan. Also during the Panchayat election held in 1980, communist candidate Bam Devan had won the local election from Dharan.

In the first general election held after the restoration of multi-party system in 1990, late Prime Minister and Chair of CPN-UML Manmohan Adhikari had also won from Sunsari Constituency 1 that comprised Dharan municipal areas.

NCP Province-1 Committee member Rewati Raman Bhandari told THT that after the merger of the CPN-UML and CPN-MC, there was an advantage of almost 16,000 votes for the NCP as there was a difference of almost 4,000 votes between the winner (UML candidate)  and the nearest rival (NC candidate) and the CPN-MC candidate’s  11,180 votes.

“This means we have lost almost 16,000 votes in these few months,” Bhandari said and added that provincial leadership’s arrogance,  failure to understand voters’ aspirations and over confidence were the main reasons behind the by-poll debacles.