Federal & Provincial Elections 2017

With Mishra’s defeat, Bibeksheel Sajha loses hope for direct win

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Dec 10, 2017-

With the loss of its most promising candidate Rabindra Mishra, the Bibeksheel Sajha Party’s hope of emerging as a national party has been shattered.

Mishra, who fought against powerful Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh at the latter’s stronghold in Kathmandu-1, had been the face of the BSP campaign.

The newly formed party had put immense weight behind its coordinator Mishra, the ex-BBC journalist many believed was capable of pulling off a win.

Since Mishra’s nomination, the Kathmandu-1 constituency had caught public attention. Mishra, a hugely popular figure on Facebook and Twitter, failed to translate his online reach and extensive door-to-door campaign into victory.

Mishra suffered defeat at the hands of heavyweight Singh by a slim margin of 818--a respectable showing by a first-time candidate, especially against a leader having three consecutive victories.

Conceding defeat, Mishra said in a statement: “I am excited at the response voters have shown on me and the party as a whole, which was established just four months ago and without any oganisational strength.”

The BSP has fielded candidates in all the constituencies of Kathmandu but the party was unlikely to win any federal parliamentary seat as vote counting progressed on Saturday evening.

A party needs at least three percent proportional representation (PR) votes and at least one first-past-the-post (FPTP) seat to be recognised as a national party.

Commenting on the party’s performance so far, BSP Spokesperson Ramesh Paudyal said, “The initial results that we are receiving from Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the country are not very encouraging for the party. We are unlikely to get the status of a national party this time.”

Despite failing to win any seats from the constituencies in Kathmandu, the party has maintained an impressive third place in the other nine constituencies of the district. Vote count for Kathmandu 5 and 7 was still underway on Saturday evening.

Another BSP candidate Surya Raj Acharya garnered 7,437 votes in Kathmandu-2. The party has got encouraging votes in the constituencies of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur as well. BSP candidates came fourth in Bhaktapur 1 and Lalitpur 1 while the party held the third position in the rest of the constituencies of Kathmandu Valley on Saturday evening.

“We have taken this result positively. In constituency 1, which we lost with a slim margin, we performed exceptionally well,” said Paudyal, adding that the party was now counting on PR votes.

The party has said that the electoral alliance between the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) right before the election had hit their performance. According to Paudyal, people decided to vote for the alliance hoping that its victory would bring much-needed stability in the country.

Published: 10-12-2017 07:56

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