Prestige battle in Kailali-5

Dhangadi, November 13

The upcoming electoral battle between Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s spouse Arzu Rana Deuba and the leftist alliance’s candidate Naradmuni Rana in Kailali Constituency No 5 has drawn a lot of attention in the district of late.

Deuba and Rana are contesting for the parliament in the second round of the polls scheduled for December 7.

“Kailali-5 is a strategically important constituency as it has the major business hub of the province — Dhangadi, so it makes sense why both the sides are keen on securing it,” said local Tharu leader Prabhat Chaudhary.

He added, “While Congress has the challenge of replicating its past electoral success in the second Constituent Assembly election, the left alliance is all set to upset the ruling party and has cunningly fielded a local Tharu leader with the aim of clinching victory.”

The left alliance’s Rana is a former UML lawmaker in the first Constituent Assembly back in 2007. He is also the former deputy mayor of Dhangadi.

The constituency comprises Ward number 6 and 9 of Kailari rural municipality, besides Dhangadi sub-metropolis. In the local elections, Congress had won both the posts of mayor and deputy mayor, along with 12 of the total 19 wards. CPN-MC and UML had divided the remaining wards by winning Wards 5 and 2 respectively. Vote-wise, however, UML and CPN-MC had garnered around 4,000 votes in excess from what the NC had gained.

Besides, the left alliance’s Tharu candidate is expected to draw more votes from his own local community in the upcoming elections this time.

Tharus make up more than one-third of the total population of the constituency. The total population here stands at 91,818 people.

Congress has fielded Jivan Rana, a scholar and popular leader who is pursuing PhD in Tharu culture from provincial constituency ‘ka’, while its veteran leader Dilliraj Panta is contesting the election from the next provincial constituency.

The leftist alliance has fielded Nepalu Chaudhary from the UML and Ramesh Dhami  of CPN-MC for provincial assembly from ‘ka’ and ‘kha’ respectively.

“The election here is expected to be a tight race,” said lecturer TR Binadi, adding, “More than along ethnic lines, the voters are most likely to vote along the ideological lines for either the democrats or communists.