Left alliance takes early lead in Valley

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Dec 9, 2017-

As vote counting gets underway across the country, two constituencies of Kathmandu--1 and 4--have caught widespread attention with Rabindra Mishra of the Bibeksheel Sajha Party and Gagan Thapa of the Nepali Congress giving tough fights to their opponents. 

Both Mishra and Thapa were in the limelight since their nomination and had got huge popularity on social media platforms. A débutante to politics, Mishra made 

headlines as he decided to take on veteran NC leader Prakash Man Singh, who has won the constituency 

twice earlier. Singh, who registered comfortable victories in the 2008 and 2013 Constituent Assembly elections, is closely chased by Mishra, a joint-coordinator of the new party.

Since his election campaign, which was more personalised and door-to-door, supported by an effective social media campaign, Mishra was seen as a strong contender.

Youth leader Thapa, who had won from the same constituency with a comfortable margin, seems to be struggling initially. His counterpart, Rajan Bhattarai of the CPN-UML, had taken a lead before being overtaken by Thapa again.

According to early estimates, the left alliance of the UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) is poised to win big in Kathmandu Valley, which has 15 constituencies in total.

The left alliance is leading in 11 constituencies as counting progressed in the 15 constituencies on Friday evening.

The ruling NC, which has an unexpectedly low performance across the country, does not seem to have a very good prospect inside the Valley as well.

The NC is ahead in merely four constituencies--three in Kathmandu and one in Bhaktapur.

The UML alone is leading in seven constituencies of Kathmandu district, followed by two constituencies of Lalitpur. On the other hand, its coalition partner Maoist Centre maintains lead in two constituencies of the Valley--one each in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. 

Senior leader Pampha Bhushal was ahead of NC candidate Madan Bahadur Amatya in Lalitpur-3 as the Post went to press. 

Two UML candidates--Nawaraj Silwal and Krishna Lal Maharjan--also maintained early lead in Lalitpur 1 and 2 respectively.

The NC is running ahead in Kathmandu 1, 4 and 10, where Singh, Thapa and Rajan KC struggled to defend their position. NC’s Baburaja Joshi, despite taking a slim lead, is facing a tough fight with Maoist candidate Milan Suwal in Bhaktapur-1. In Bhaktpur-2, NC’s Daman Nath Dhungana trails UML candidate Mahesh Basnet.

UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, a candidate from Kathmandu-2, where 

he lost in 2008 before reclaiming the seat in 2013, is ahead of NC’s Deepak Kuinkel and BSP’s Surya Raj Acharya.

Published: 09-12-2017 07:40

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