Renu’s victory fails to impress Maoist leaders

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 7, 2017-

Renu Dahal’s victory as the mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City has failed to impress many CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders who feel that the incident of tearing up 

ballot papers has disgraced the party.

Elections in Bharatpur Metropolitan City were held on May 14, but the fracas on the night of May 28, in which Maoist Centre representatives had allegedly torn 90 ballot papers, had led to a halt to vote counting.

Following the incident, the Election Commission, on June 3, had decided to conduct re-election in Ward 19. 

The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court on July 31, and re-election in the concerned ward was held on Friday.

As coalition partners Nepali Congress and Maoist Centre celebrated the victory of the daughter of Maoist Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday, many Maoist leaders were not happy with the party’s electoral victory that came after much controversy.

“Renu’s victory might please her family members but it is meaningless for the party,” commented a member of the party’s headquarters, claiming that the Bharatpur incident has already taken its toll on the party.

Most of the Maoist leaders feel that the incident tarnished the image of the party and would haunt it for long, at a time when the revolutionary force of yore has embraced the parliamentary system to attain its goal.

Former minister Rekha Sharma said the party leadership has already condemned the act and since the action was not premeditated, as alleged by other parties, the party “has nothing to say”.

Party’s Chief Whip Sharma said the state should get legal measures to curb such activities that could potentially recur. But the main opposition CPN-UML, whose mayoral candidate Devi Gyawali was leading in the vote count before the May 28 incident, has charged that the move was a planned and calculated act of the ruling Maoist Centre, prompted by its realisation that Dahal was about to lose the race despite having an electoral alliance with the Congress.

Condemning the act, then-PM Dahal told Parliament in May that he had told his daughter Renu that she should not worry as she had already won the battle with her impressive popularity.

On the other hand, Maoist leaders say it was the party’s strategically wrong move to put Renu in the mayoral race in the first place where the party’s position was not very strong. “How can anyone think of winning the election where the party is in a third position while there is an extreme conflict within over the candidate?” a senior Maoist leader questioned. 

Some wondered if the party would have fielded Renu at all if she was not the chairman’s daughter.

UML accepts poll result 

KATHMANDU: The CPN-UML has accepted the result of local level election in Bharatpur Metropolitan City where its candidate Devi Gyawali lost to CPN (Maoist Centre) candidate Renu Dahal by 203 votes. 

“We have decided to accept the outcome of Bharatpur polls,” UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang said. “UML believes in rule of law and values and principles of election. So, we have decided to move on.”

During a UML Steering Committee meeting on Sunday, the party had made a detailed analysis of Bharatpur polls. According to Nembang, the party was certain of winning the mayoral race by a margin of 250-300 votes had the election not been embroiled into controversy. The meeting also decided to urge the Constitution Delimitation Commission to designate election constituency based on population and geography. UML Deputy General Secretary Bishnu Poudel informed the Post that the party would soon call a secretariat meeting and discuss election scenario in Province 2. (PR)

Published: 07-08-2017 07:12

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