UML, Maoist Centre in a fix over selection of candidates in State 6

- JANAK NEPAL, PRAKASH ADHIKARI, SURKHET

Feb 7, 2018-

The CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) are facing difficulty picking the parliamentary party leader for Province 6 with heavyweight leaders vying for the post.   

Nine leaders, who had been parliamentarians at different times, have been elected to Provincial Assembly (PA) of Province 6 from the two parties that is currently planning on a merger. And while the Maoist Centre is supposed to lead the provincial government as per the power sharing deal between the two parties, two UML leaders-- Yamlal Kandel and Prakash Jwala-- are eyeing for the post of parliamentary party leader. 

Kandel and Jwala were elected to the PA from Surkhet-2 (A) and Salyan (B) respectively. 

While Kandel has already served as a tourism minister, Jwala has headed the Fiscal Committee of the House of Representatives and served as a political adviser to former Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal. Both these leaders have been lobbying to land the post of parliamentary party leader these days. 

Kandel is close to UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Jwala to senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

“They both have expressed their desire to become the parliamentary party leader. If a unanimous decision cannot be made, then we might have to go for a vote,” said UML Vice-chairman Yuvaraj Gyawali, who is also the UML coordinator of Province 6. 

As per the power sharing dear between the UML 

and the Maoist Centre, the former will get to have the PA speaker and four ministers and the Maoist Centre will have the chief minister, two ministers and the deputy speaker. 

“The decision is tough because we have so many lawmakers who wants important posts to prove their mettle,” said Gyawali.

The Maoist Centre is also in a similar fix regarding chief minister.

Former minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi of Kalikot and former lawmaker Naresh Bhandari of Jumla are the only names that have cropped up in the race. 

Shahi may have a slight edge over Bhandari because of his closeness with Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Janardan Sharma. 

Bhandari, meanwhile, is favoured by senior leader Ram Bahadur Thapa. 

Nothing has been decided as of now, said Shakti Basnet, the Maoist Centre coordinator of Province 6.

“Unofficial discussions are on regarding chief minister candidate. The decision will be made based on a consensus,” he said.

Published: 07-02-2018 07:37

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