National

Oli’s rival Adhikari urges voters to choose young and dynamic leaders

- SANJEEV GIRI, JHAPA

Nov 13, 2017-

Nepali Congress candidate Khagendra Adhikari, a new name in national politics, has come under the spotlight for his decision to contest opposite CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, arguably the most secure top leader in the upcoming polls, in Jhapa-5.

Besides, an electoral alliance between the UML and the CPNkp (Maoist Centre) has bolstered the chances of victory of the former prime minister.

Oli’s dominance in the constituency, according to many, remains unprecedented. On top of that, Jhapa-5 has long remained a forte of the UML. This is seen as a bold move by Adhikari, who recently quit the position of an associate professor at the Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Kathmandu.

“A new journey has begun. Politics is a game of uncertainty,” Adhikari, 43, told the Post at his residence. “People are concerned about me. However, I’m confident that this concern is out of love, which will translate into votes.”

Oli, who won the parliamentary elections from Jhapa in 1991, 1994 and 1999, had lost the Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 showing that politics, indeed, is a game of uncertainty.

Bishwodip Lingden Limbu of the then Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) had upset Oli with a margin of 1,140 votes in the first CA vote. Oli made a strong comeback in the 2013 CA elections as he crushed Nepali Congress candidate Suresh Kumar Youngaya with a margin of 8,146 votes.

Agreeing that Oli has overlooked his presence, Adhikari said there are many people who want young and dynamic leaders to win and further develop the region. His door-to-door campaigns as well as mass meetings spread the message that young leaders, who can spend more time with the local people, should be given a chance. “I have that vigour,” he said, adding that his experience as a teacher for close to 18 years would help him in his political career as well.

Adhikari claimed that his pledges are not about things that cannot be achieved. He argues that people have been cheated time and again by their elected representative.

“Had Oli been people’s leader, he would have done much for this place and the people,” Adhikari said, adding that whatever Damak is today was because of several factors and that Oli’s presence as a top leader had nothing much to do about it.

About Oli, Adhikari said, “I know him as a politician, like every Nepali knows him. I have met him at a few programmes. Not in person.”

“At times people ask me if I am nervous or worried,” Adhikari said. “He is just a contender to me. He is an ordinary human being like me. These questions do not affect my confidence and the winning spirit.”

Published: 13-11-2017 08:24

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