Karna Bahadur Thapa likely CM of Province 7

Bajura, December 13

As the left alliance prepares to form the government in Province 7, CPN-UML’s alternative politburo member Karna Bahadur Thapa is likely to be appointed chief minister of the province.

After UML Vice-chairperson Bhim Rawal and CPN-MC leader Lekhraj Bhatta contested the parliamentary elections, Thapa is said to be aspiring for the post. The party recommended Thapa’s name in the second number of the provincial proportional representation list submitted at the Election Commission. None of the leaders who have won provincial election have the same stature as Thapa’s.

He was Industry Minister in the Sushil Koirala-led government. It is reported that Thapa agreed to incorporate his name under the provincial PR system as he was interested in the post.

Hierarchically, Thapa comes after UML’s Bhim Rawal in Province 7. He said he was eyeing the post. It is certain he will be a member of the provincial assembly. “If Bhim Rawal was contesting for provincial seat, I would be supporting him. But he has been elected to the Parliament. Hence, my claim to the post is natural. Internal discussions are being held in the party about appointing the chief minister and I am sure the party leadership will forward my name for the same,” he said.

CPN-MC central politburo member Sahadev Bogati said Thapa was a capable candidate for the post. “This is not a matter of the CPN-UML or CPN-MC, rather it has to do with people and the country. Hence, a capable, competent and senior person should be given the post,” said Bogati.

The left alliance has garnered clear majority in the province. Of the 32 seats under the first-past-the post category, CPN UML won 17 while CPN-MC won 10 seats. The alliance seems to be dominant in the proportional representation ballots as well in the province, which has 21 seats under the system.