Dhangadi, November 2
Nomination of election candidates concluded peacefully in Province 7 today.
Of the total nine districts, elections are being held in the second round in five districts of the province, namely, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Dadeldhura, Doti and Achham, where the CPN-UML-CPN-MC alliance and Nepali Congress separately staged rallies before entering the office of the chief election officer in the respective districts to file nominations.
Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba had his nomination filed from his home district Dadeldhura today. Nepali Congress leader Ganesh Panta filed the nomination for parliamentary elections on behalf of the PM.
Deuba’s rival will be CPN-MC politburo member Khagaraj Bhatta, who has filed his nomination from the left alliance.
Deuba has won all elections since 1991, including the two Constituent Assembly elections that Bhatta lost to Deuba. This year’s electoral battle, however, is expected to be an interesting one in the changed context of formation of alliance between the two major communist forces.
Influential CPN-MC leader Lekhraj Bhatta has filed his nomination for parliamentary poll from Kailali Constituency No 4. The left alliance candidate is running against NC’s Sunil Bhandari. Having secured victory from then Constituency No 5 of the district in the first Constituent Assembly elections, he, however, had lost to NC’s Dirgharaj Bhat in the second CA elections.
Earlier, UML had made a clean sweep in this constituency by winning all local units in this year.
UML Vice-chair Bhim Rawal has filed his nomination for parliamentary election from Constituency No 1 of his home district, Achham. Bharat Kumar Swar of Congress is his major rival. Swar is a former NC district president and former president of then district development committee. The constituency is reckoned as a UML stronghold. Similarly, Nepali Congress’s influential leader Ramesh Lekhak has filed his parliamentary nomination from Kanchanpur Constituency-3, while NP Saud, another influential leader, has filed his nomination from constituency-2. While Lekhak will have to face the leftist alliance candidate Dr. Dip Prakash Bhatta in the election, Saud will compete with alliance candidate Nara Bahadur Dhami.
Ram Janam Chaudhary, an influential leader from then Forum Democratic that recently merged with Congress, has filed his nomination from Kailali Constituency No 3. The constituency has seen the nomination of CPN-MC’s Gauri Shankar Tharu on behalf of the left alliance. As both candidates are from the local Tharu community, the electoral battle is expected to be very tight.
Nepali Congress leader and incumbent Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister Bir Bahadur Balayar has filed his parliamentary candidacy from Doti. The district has only one constituency. UML’s Prem Bahadur Ale filed nomination from the left alliance.
A version of this article appears in print on November 03, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.