NC names 10 more poll candidates

Kathmandu, October 30

The parliamentary board meeting of the Nepali Congress today finalised the candidacy of 10 leaders, including that of senior leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s wife Arzu Rana Deuba, for the second phase parliamentary elections slated for December 7.

Sitaula is contesting the polls from Jhapa-3, while Deuba has been nominated from Kailali-5.

The party had previously included Sitaula’s name in the proportional representation list and had assigned him the task of spearheading the election campaign nationwide. The original plan was that the Congress would help Rajendra Lingden, leader of NC’s electoral alliance partner Rastriya Prajatantra Party, in Jhapa 3. However, Sitaula’s name was removed from the PR list after he expressed his desire to contest first-past-the-pot election from his home constituency of Jhapa-3.

The NC’s decision has now created a dispute with its alliance partner RPP, with Lingden adamant on not leaving the constituency for Sitaula. Lingden said his candidacy from Jhapa 3 was intact and that he would not withdraw his candidacy ‘at any cost’.

“Our party decided my candidacy from Jhapa 3 way earlier than the NC decided Sitaula’s candidacy. The NC should have thought about it and managed its leaders accordingly,” he told THT. “I have already invested so much time on election promotion and I am not going to back off at any cost. My candidacy is very much intact.”

Lingden also said that he was happy to have an opponent like Sitaula and expressed confidence that he would emerge victorious. “It is my dream to defeat a strong opponent, and I am sure the voters will help materialise my dream,” he said.

On electoral alliance with the NC, Lingden said the alliance had already broken, with the NC deciding to field Sitaula against him.

However, NC leader and parliamentary board member Bal Krishna Khand said since Sitaula was the party’s senior leader and former general sectary, the party could not stop him from contesting FPTP election. “Sitaula is our senior leader and he has made a significant contribution to the country, including his crucial role in the peace process,” said Khand. “He expressed his desire to contest the FPTP election from his home constituency, so the party decided in his favour.”

Khand said the NC had requested the RPP to field Lingden from a different constituency and support Sitaula in Jhapa 3. He also said that Sitaula’s nomination from Jhapa 3 would not affect the NC’s electoral alliance with the RPP. “The alliance is pretty much intact,” he said.

Today’s NC parliamentary board meeting mainly focused on candidacy of top leaders and nominations in hill districts. Khand said the board would finalise candidates for all hill districts by tomorrow and would move to Tarai districts. Other leaders nominated today are Maha Laxmi Dina Upadhyaya (Makawanpur 2), Sita Gurung (Tehrathum), Ambika Basnet (Kathmandu 3), Hari Prasad Nepal (Palpa 2), Hridaya Ram Thani (Palpa 1), Chandra Bhandari (Gulmi 1), Chandra Bahadur KC (Gulmi 2), and Ram Bahadur KC (Arghakhanchi), according to Khand.

With this, NC has so far finalised nominations of 35 candidates for the December 7 parliamentary elections.