Rai, Acharya in race for CM in Province 1

Biratnagar, February 8

The CPN-UML is all set to pick its Parliamentary Party leader for Province 1 through voting tomorrow as consensus appeared elusive with aspiring candidates representing different factions refusing to back down.

Leaders Bhim Acharya and Sherdhan Rai are taking on each other for the post. Acharya says he has the support of 32 Provincial Assembly members, while Rai seemed confident about winning the election with the support of lawmakers from indigenous communities.

It is important to note that the one who will make it to the Parliamentary Party leader will also get the chief minister’s post. The UML has won 51 Provincial Assembly seats in the province.

“As the province has a number of lawmakers from the indigenous community, I will definitely win their support,” he reasoned.

Though UML central leader Jivan Ghimire too was in the race of the PP leader earlier, he withdrew his candidacy later.

According to party insiders, Ghimire from the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led faction had agreed to withdraw his candidacy fearing split of votes between him and another Nepal supporter Acharya, who is also UML central committee secretary and provincial in-charge. Rai, who is close to party chairman KP Oli, is alternative politburo member and deputy in-charge of the province.