Madhesi parties not in forefront in Morang this time

Biratnagar, November 28

Madhesi parties that had won four parliamentary first-past-the-post constituencies in the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections are not among the two or three leading forces that are in the forefront of   the electoral race at least in five out of six parliamentary constituencies of this district.

Morang, which had nine constituencies in the past, has only six constituencies now. Madhesi parties, which separately contested in the second CA elections, had lost all seats to opponents from major parties, mainly because of their division. Although the Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Mahantha Thakur-led Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal have forged electoral alliance in the districts of Province 2, they have not forged such alliance in Morang.

Chair of Eastern Region of Forum for Participatory Democracy Dinesh Shrestha and Senior journalist Mohan Bhandari, who toured all the constituencies of the district told THT that five constituencies of the district, 1,2,3,4, and 6 will witness major contest between the Nepali Congress and the left alliance but Constituency No 6 will witness triangular contest between the NC, left alliance and the FSF-N.

Morang-5 is expected to witness triangular contest between FSF-N candidate Raj Kumar Yadav, NC’s Amrit Aryal and left alliance’s Shiv Kumar Mandal.  This constituency has around 90 per cent Madhesi voters. FSFN-Chair Upendra Yadav who had won from this constituency in the first CA election, however, lost the second CA election. This time he is contesting from Saptari-2.

Morang-1, will witness rivalry between the NC’s Dig Bahadur Limbu and the left alliance’s Ghanashyam Khatiwada. NC candidate Limbu is seen as a favourite of the Limbu community, which has a significant chunk of votes in the constituency. Limbu has also tried to capitalise on his role in winning some development projects in the area. Left alliance candidate Khatiwada expects advantage of two left forces — the CPN-UML and CPN-MC — which have forged electoral alliance.

Province 2 expects fierce rivalry mainly between the left alliance’s Rishikesh Pokharel and Minendra Rijal. This was traditionally an NC stronghold as former NC President late Girija Prasad Koirala had won from this constituency repeatedly. In recent years, however, the CPN-UML has increased its base.

Province 3 will also witness rivalry between NC candidate Sunil Sharma and the left alliance’s Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal. The left alliance led by more than 20,000 votes in the local levels in this constituency, but NC candidate Sunil Sharma has organised many health camps in this constituency which has helped him gain popularity among voters.

In Province 4, NC’s Mahesh Acharya and the left alliance candidate Aman Lal Modi are the main contenders.  Acharya is seen as a national figure with huge influence in his party’s decisions. Modi is seen as a candidate who fought all odds to rise in the party’s hierarchy.  Acharya had won from this constituency.

Constituency No 6 is much talked about in this district as Shekhar Koirala, a prominent member of the Koirala family is contesting election. Bijay Gachhadar-led Nepal Democratic Forum’s merger with the NC is seen as an advantage for Koirala. Analysts say Tharu voters of the constituency are likely to vote for Koirala. Gachhadar who had won from this constituency in the first CA lost the second CA election from this constituency.