Candidate selection delayed in Province 2

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jun 13, 2017-

Major political parties, which had claimed that they would finalise their candidates for the local level elections before the Election Commission’s nomination date, are struggling to pick the party representatives in Province 2 even as the task has been over in the other three provinces.

The Sanghiya Gatha-bandhan of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and some Janajati forces has announced to disrupt the June 28 elections. The statement of Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar in Biratnagar on Sunday has also added to the confusion among the local people if the vote will indeed take place on schedule. He had said that the local polls in Province 2 could be postponed once again.

After the provincial committee failed to decide on the candidates, a scheduled meeting of the UML Standing Committee was not held on Monday. Province 2 committee in-charge Satya Narayan Mandal said his team was working hard to prepare a list of the candidates by 4pm Tuesday.

“We have some 20 percent work remaining,” said Mandal. After the party’s provincial committee recommends the names of candidates for sub-metropolises, the Standing Committee would finalise them.

The CPN (Maoist Centre) is said to have prepared a list of 50 percent candidates. Biswonath Sah, coordinator of the party’s Province 2 committee, said they would collect the lists within a couple of days even if there has been no consensus on the candidates. Sah said the party has a large number of aspirants.

The ruling Nepali Congress also has difficulties in finalising its candidates in Province 2 although the party has already completed the task in the other three states.

Dilendra Badu, a member of the NC’s candidate selection committee, said the party would take two days to prepare the final list of aspirants in the Tarai province.

Confusion reigns in central Tarai

Four days before the official date to nominate candidates for the local level elections, people of Province 2 are not sure about the fate of the polls, especially after reports of clashes between cadres of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal with the other parties and the authorities.

Sociologist Birendra Prasad Sah says the government and the RJP-N should reach an agreement on the polls, warning of confrontation in the Madhes if there is no consensus at the higher level.

In Sarlahi, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said regressive forces would win if the local level elections were not held on schedule. Organising a press meet in Nawalpur on Monday, Yadav appeal to the Madhesi people to participate in the elections. After the polls, the people would be able to access state services at their doorstep, he argued. “I’m not sure who’ll benefit by cancelling the elections.”

In Birgunj, Basharuddin Ansari, managing director of the National Medical College and Teaching Hospital, joined the CPN-UML on Monday. UML Standing Committee member and Province 2 in-charge Satya Narayan Mandal and Central Committee member Raghubir Mahaseth welcomed Ansari, a former member of the CPN (Maoist Centre), to the party amid a ceremony. According to UML sources, the party is likely to field Ansari as the mayoral candidate for the recently announced Birgunj Metropolis.

(With inputs from our district correspondents)

Published: 13-06-2017 08:24

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