Makawanpur-1 closely watched

Hetauda, November 13

As Ratriya Prajatantra Party Chairperson Kamal Thapa prepares to take on his old rival Krishna Prasad Dahal of the CPN-UML in the upcoming parliamentary elections this December, the same has pushed election fever up in Makawanpur Constituency No 1.

While Thapa is contesting on behalf of the democratic alliance, Dahal is representing the leftist alliance this time.

To hark back to history, the RPP honcho has won two out of six election races so far since 1981, when he had lost. Though he had claimed victory in the next election, i.e., in 1986, he had lost to his present rival in the 1991 elections. Having contested from two constituencies from the district in the next election in 1994, he had won against Dahal from one constituency while he had lost to another UML leader in the next constituency. The constituency had elected Dahal in the 1996 elections.

While Thapa, who is also a former minister, hadn’t contested from the constituency after the 1996 elections, Dahal, an influential leader who has access to national politics, couldn’t simply contest after the party didn’t oblige him with a ticket.

In the first CA election, Thapa had chosen constituency No 3 but just to be defeated. As for Constituency No 1, CPN-MC’s Dil Bahadur Ghising had been elected in the first CA election, while NC’s Indra Bahadur Baniyan had won the next CA election. This time, while the UML is said to be looking forward to avenging its past electoral loss, the RPP leader is all set to save his grace this time with the support of Congress.

If the past electoral vote figures are anything to go by, the left alliance is ahead of the democratic alliance here. While UML and CPN-MC together garnered over 40,000 votes, democratic alliance parties received 32,479 votes from the constituencies during the local polls this year.

Political pundits, however, described the battle as unpredictable. “As this constituency has a chequered history, we can’t say for sure who will win this time,” said a political expert.

Thapa and Dahal, on their part, said they were hopeful of victory.