National

Bhusal pulls out of race in favour of Thapa

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jan 30, 2018-

CPN-UML leader Beduram Bhusal has withdrawn his candidacy from the National Assembly election in order to bolster the chances of CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Ram Bahadur Thapa, who has been fielded as a common candidate of the left alliance in the open category of Province 3.

The move on Monday follows fears that the planned merger between the two parties could be affected if the senior Maoist leader lost the vote. Thapa’s chance of winning could be slim if UML voters accorded him the third priority, after UML candidates Bhusal and Balram Baskota. Fringe forces such as the Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party and the Bibeksheel Sajha Party have decided to vote for Nepali Congress candidates.

According to some Maoist Centre leaders, they had a hunch that Nepali Congress members could also vote for UML candidates to make Thapa lose, with an aim to put left unity in trouble.

“I withdrew my candidacy so that the party unification process won’t be affected,” Bhusal told the Post. UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli had telephoned Bhusal, a leader of the Madhav Nepal camp in the party, saying that Thapa would withdraw his candidacy if Bhusal refused to do so.  Oli also warned that this could seriously affect the party unification process.

After Thapa’s threat, Oli and Maoist Centre Chairman Dahal had an emergency meeting at Singha Durbar to convince Nepal, who was against the idea. The meeting was attended by Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Dahal and Thapa from the Maoist Centre and Subas Nembang, Oli and Nepal from the UML.

The left alliance has mooted Thapa as the chairman of the National Assembly, if he wins.

Published: 30-01-2018 08:10

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