Major parties gear up for provincial, federal polls

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Sep 22, 2017-As the vote counting for the third phase of local level elections progresses, political parties have started preparations for the upcoming provincial and federal parliamentary polls.

Parties have a month’s time before candidate nomination for the two crucial polls. According to the time table published by the Election Commission, contestants need to be nominated on October 22 for the first phase of the joint vote to be held November 26.

Federal parliamentary seats have been brought down to 165 from 240 while there are 550 seats up for grabs in the state assemblies. There are also opportunities for parties’ central leaders to vie for the chief minister in the seven provinces.

The main opposition CPN-UML, which ranks first in the number of local federal unit chiefs announced so far, has been vigorous with its discussions for the upcoming polls. The party is preparing to launch an election campaign by naming its chief minister candidates before other major forces. A meeting of the party’s central committee begins on Friday to devise a strategy for the looming elections.

In the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre), Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has already announced to contest the federal election from Chitwan-3 while senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha will be fighting against Naya Shakti Nepal coordinator and former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai in Gorkha.

Maoist leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi is contesting the federal polls from Arghakhanchi, Pampha Bhusal from Lalitpur-3, Barshaman Pun from Rolpa, Janardan Sharma from Rukum (west), Krishna Bahadur Mahara from Dang, Giriraj Mani Pokhrel from Mahottari, Shakti Basnet from Jajarkot and Prabhu Sah from Rautahat.

The Maoist Centre has formed a candidate selection committee led by Ram Bahadur Thapa and an election manifesto drafting committee under Shrestha.

Even as the ruling Nepali Congress has yet to hold meetings to prepare for the polls with the party leadership busy in government, NC leaders have started announcing their constituencies.

The provincial committees of several parties have started selecting candidates. The Naya Shakti has asked its state committees to provide the final list of candidates by October 6.

Tentative plans for major Congress leaders are Sher Bahadur Deuba contesting in Dadeldhura, Ram Chandra Poudel in Tanahun-1, Shashank Koirala in Nawalparasi-1, Prakash Man Singh in Kathmandu-1, Purna Bahadur Khadka in Surkhet-1, Arjun Narsingh KC and Ram Saran Mahat in Nuwakot, Chitra Lekha Yadav in Siraha-2, Pradip Giri in Siraha-3, Mahesh Acharya in Morang and Gagan Thapa in Kathmandu-4.

According to NC sources, the leaders vying for chief ministers are Bhisma Raj Aangdambe, Biswo Prakash Sharma and Taraman Gurung in Province 1; Mahendra Yadav, Ram Krishna Yadav and Farmullah Mansur in Province 2; Gagan Thapa and Nabindra Raj Joshi in Province 3; Dhanraj Gurung, Shankar Bhandari and Pradip Poudel in Province 4; Balkrishna Khand, Chandra Bhandari and Dipak Giri in Province 5; Hridaya 

Ram Thani and Jeevan Bahadur Shahi in Province 6; and NP Saud, Ramesh Lekhak and Bir Bahadur Balayar in Province 7.

 

Probable NC chief minister candidates

Province 1: Bhisma Raj Aangdambe, Biswo Prakash Sharma and Taraman Gurung

Province 2: Mahendra Yadav, Ram Krishna Yadav and Farmullah Mansur

Province 3: Gagan Thapa and Nabindra Raj Joshi

Province 4: Dhanraj Gurung, Shankar Bhandari and Pradip Poudel

Province 5: Balkrishna Khand, Chandra Bhandari and Dipak Giri

Province 6: Hridaya Ram Thani and Jeevan Bahadur Shahi

Province 7: NP Saud, Ramesh Lekhak and Bir Bahadur Balayar

Published: 22-09-2017 08:08

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