Kathmandu, October 13
Naya Shakti Party-Nepal has decided to go it alone in the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections and exited the left electoral alliance.
The extended meeting of the party’s Provincial Secretariat today decided to contest the polls with its own symbol of the ‘eye’. In a statement issued after the meeting, the party said it took the decision after alliance partners the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre decided against the agreement to contest the elections under a common symbol.
The meeting also decided that the party would forge electoral alliance with all except those who did not accept the constitution’s fundamental contents – republic, federalism, secularism and inclusion.
“The party will field candidates in all constituencies except where alliances are forged,” read the statement.
The party also announced election candidates. According to the statement, NSP-N Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai will contest the polls from Gorkha-2, Krishna Kumar Chaudhary from Kailali-3, Dan Bahadur Chaudhary from Kapilvastu-1, Prem Tamang from Rasuwa and Madan Rai from Khotang.
NSP-N Parliamentary Affairs Department Chief Keshav Dahal, however, said the party was still committed to the alliance and could reconsider its decision if alliance partners addressed its demand of 15 per cent seats and allowed Bhattarai to contest from Gorkha-2.
Stating that NSP-N would continue to be a part of the alliance for its broader goal of forming a ‘grand socialist party and ensuring political stability’ in the country, Dahal said: “But since only NSP-N’s honesty and commitment are not enough to make this alliance successful, we do not have any other option but to exit the electoral alliance.”
The differences arose within the alliance after the CPN-MC expressed reluctance to leave the Gorkha-2 Constituency to Bhattarai and dilute its 40 per cent seat share by allocating constituencies to NSP-N. CPN-MC’s Narayan Kaji Shrestha had also staked his claim to contest from Gorkha-2. Both leaders are in no mood to concede.
Both the UML and CPN-MC have said NSP-N’s demand for 15 per cent seats is ‘impractical’, and it has to reconsider its demand. As far as Bhattarai’s claim to Gorkha-2 is concerned, the UML and CPN-MC have suggested that he either fight from Kathmandu or under the PR system.
UML leader Bishnu Paudel said since the process of finalising constituency-sharing and candidate selection was yet to be completed, the NSP-N should not have taken such an ‘emotional’ decision to exit the alliance. “But let me assure the alliance is intact and nothing has happened to it,” he said.
Stating that the CPN-MC and UML had only asked the NSP-N to put forth its demand in a pragmatic way, CPN-MC’s Shrestha said they had never underestimated the party. “Bhattarai should not have taken such a decision. It will only harm him,” said Shrestha. “But the alliance is intact and it will continue to work to realise its objectives,” he added.
While announcing the left alliance on October 4, both UML Chair KP Sharma Oli and CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal had said the alliance would first allocate seats to NSP-N and others who join them and share the remaining seats on a 60:40 basis.
A version of this article appears in print on October 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.