KATHMANDU, May 20: As Sarbottam Dangol, the ruling CPN (Maoist Center)'s mayoral candidate for Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), has received very few votes in the initial counting, the candidate's team and the party leaders have started pointing out various reasons behind the poor performance.
While the team members of his electoral campaign have accused party leaders of not providing full support to Dangol, some leaders have blamed 'a less popular candidate, weak organizational network, ineffective campaigning and rumors about alliance with another ruling party Nepali Congress (NC)' for the party's poor performance in KMC.
As of Friday, five days after the Election Day, Dangol has received only around 1,300 votes while the CPN-UML's mayoral candidate for KMC, Bidya Sundar Sakya, has got around 11,500 votes and NC's Rajuraj Joshi is following him with around 7,800 votes. Moreover, the candidates of two new political parties, namely Bibeksheel Party Nepal and Sajha Party Nepal, have secured more votes than Dangol of the Maoist Center which won several parliamentary seats in Kathmandu in the past.
Sarita Maharjan, the party's deputy in-charge of KMC, who was actively involved in campaigning for Dangol, blamed the party leadership for the party's poor performance in the capital.
“The results have shocked all of us who were involved in the electoral campaigns,” she said. “I can't lie and say that we had anticipated winning KMC mayoral election, but we never expected such a poor performance.”
She said that the party did not conduct mass rallies targeting the election. “CPN-UML chairman KP Sharma Oli had addressed various mass rallies to attract the voters but our party chairman and PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal couldn't do so. Even the party didn't deploy any central leaders to participate in mass rallies,” said Maharjan.
She also said that rumors about the alliance with another ruling partner NC created confusions among the voters and the party could not clear those confusions on time.
Dangol, too, holds the party leadership responsible for the poor performance in KMC. Talking to some media persons on Friday, he expressed his dissatisfaction with party leadership.
However, Maoist Center's Kathmandu district in-charge Lekhnath Neupane said that the party had not forged an alliance with the NC in KMC like in other local units.
But he blamed an unpopular candidate, weak organizational network, and ineffective campaigning behind the poor performance in the capital.
“The Energy Minister from Maoist Center, Janardan Sharma's decision to appoint Kulman Gurung as the managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) was instrumental in making Kathmandu load-shedding free. This is a major achievement made by our leadership,” he said., “This and several other good decisions taken by the government led by the Maoist Center chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal could not be publicized properly during the electoral campaigns.”