National

Weak link with common people blamed for Nidhi’s unexpected loss

  • SSFN’s Rai breaks NC stronghold in Banke
- SHYAM SUNDAR SHASHI, JANAKPUR

Dec 11, 2017-Bimalendra Nidhi, an influential Nepali Congress (NC) leader and former deputy prime minister, became another casualty for the grand old party suffering a shocking defeat in the election for federal parliament from Dhanusha-3. Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal presidium member Rajendra Mahato, a native of Babbargunj in Sarlahi, garnered 30,750 votes against Nidhi’s 27,847. 

Political observers have pointed out Bimalendra’s weak political link with people at the grassroots level, his flamboyant lifestyle, nepotism and favouritism, as major reasons for his unexpected defeat. NC’s policy, especially regarding constitution amendment and implementation, and CPN-UML’s undeclared support to Mahato are considered other factors for his defeat. 

Bimalendra is a son of former NC general secretary late Mahendra Narayan Nidhi, who established Janakpur as an NC stronghold. Mahendra Narayan led the NC to a thumping win in the 1991 general elections, along with victories in four other constituencies in Dhanusha. The party fielded Bimalendra from Dhanusha in the 1994 mid-term elections which he won with a comfortable margin. He lost the elections in 1999 but bounced back with victories in both the Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 and 2013.  

Bimalendra, who holds a dominant position in the central leadership, has served 

as deputy prime minister, home minister and minister for physical planning and works at different times. 

The local people remember him for the role he played in favour of constitution amendment and in carrying out development activities in the areas. 

But he has his share of frailties. Nidhi has been accused for favouring his kith and kin. He came under fire for appointing his brother Nabendra Nidhi as the campus chief of Ramsworup Ramsagar Multiple Campus by sidelining senior professors. He was also criticised for picking controversial candidates to confer various awards and medals during his tenure as home minister in the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government.  

But what has antagonised Bimalendra’s electorate the most was his reported support to former lawmaker Sanjaya Kumar Sah, who is serving a jail term for killing media entrepreneur Arun Kumar Singhaniya and Janakpur bomb incident that killed 

five persons. 

NC district president and recently-elected lawmaker for provincial assembly Ram Saroj Yadav, however, dismissed those suggestions saying that conspiracies were hatched at the centre level to defeat Bimalendra. 

“The CPN-UML supporters voted in favour of Mahato to defeat him [Bimalendra] in Dhanusha-3,” he claimed. 

SSFN’s Rai breaks NC stronghold in Banke

NEPALGUNJ: Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal (SSF-N) candidate Mohammad Istiyak Rai has been elected from Banke-2, which is considered a historic poll constituency for the Nepali Congress. Rai garnered 21,575 votes to see off challenges of the left and democratic alliances. Former NC president and prime minister late Sushil Koirala had won the constituency in the Constituent Assembly elections in 2013. (PR)  

Published: 11-12-2017 07:51

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