Biratnagar, July 3
As the vote count of the second round of civil polls continues in the east, all eyes are on Biratnagar, the only metropolis in Province 1.
While candidates from the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal are locked in a three-way electoral battle here, many other candidates, mostly independents, are struggling to cross the double digit mark.
The metropolis had 14 nominations filed for the post of mayor, while 11 candidates are in the fray for the deputy mayoral post.
NC’s Bhim Parajuli, UML’s Binod Dhakal and CPN-MC-FSFN alliance’s Umesh Yadav are the major contenders for the mayoral post.
Of the total 113,000 eligible voters in the metropolis, 80,477 cast their ballots, of which 16,000 votes were counted till this evening. While Parajuli has got 6,343 votes, Dhakal and Yadav have 4,391 and 3,907 votes respectively.
RPP candidate Prahlad Sah has so far garnered 612 votes. Independent candidates Puspa Narayan Pradhan, Santosh Sarkar, Tara Bahadur Tamang, Ganeshraj Karki and Raj Kumar Karki have received 7, 7, 6, 4 and 3 votes respectively, as the vote count continues. The three er independent candidates haven’t got a single vote yet.
Similar is the scenario of the fight for the post of deputy mayor in the metropolis.
While NC candidate Indira Karki has garnered 5,540 votes so far, CPN-MC candidate Namita Neupane and Nepal Democratic Forum’s Suchi Chaudhary has received 2,700 and 2,440 votes respectively, and RPP candidate Shobha Shrestha has 628 votes so far.
Other deputy mayoral candidates Uttam Dhungel, Panu Paswan, Khusilal Yadav, Binod Kumar Yadav, Shyam Prasad Ghimire and Munna Khan haven’t crossed the double digit vote mark. Independent candidate Kurban Miya has received 14 votes.
Meanwhile, the low votes have upset the concerned candidates. Independent deputy mayoral candidate Dhungel said he had not expected such low number of votes. “But we can’t say for sure as the vote count is still on,” he said, while another mayoral candidate Ganeshraj Karki was also unhappy with the votes he garnered.
A version of this article appears in print on July 04, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.