KATHMANDU, Oct 23: Even as the top leaders of the left alliance have agreed to field common candidates for the upcoming federal and provincial assembly polls at the center, the leaders of the constituent parties of this alliances have fielded candidates of their respective parties in various districts. This has not only created serious disputes within the alliance but also raised questions about the prospect of their alliance and eventual unity in the long run.
The UML-led left alliance agreed to field former home minister and Maoist Center leader Shakti Bahadur Basnet from Jajarkot for the federal parliament. However, UML candidate Gobinda Bikram Shah fielded his independent candidacy on Sunday, protesting against the decision of top leaders to give their ‘secured’ constituency to the Maoist Center.
Shah had joined UML after quitting RPP with hope that he would get UML ticket for the federal parliament. Shah, who is said to possess good political clout in the district, fielded his independent candidacy after he was denied the ticket.
Similarly, the CPN (Maoist Center) leaders have fielded their candidacy against the common candidates of left alliance in Ramechhap district. Former lawmaker of the Maoist Center Laxmi Gurung fielded her candidacy for the federal parliament, breaching the agreement reached by her party with UML at the central level.
Although the top leaders of the left alliance agreed to field UML candidates in Mugu district, local leaders of Maoist Center have not only announced their non-cooperation with UML candidates, but also filed independent candidacies.
As per the agreement reached at the center, the UML fielded Gopal Bam for federal parliament and Dan Singh Pariyar and Chandra Bahadur Shahi for provincial assembly. The Maoist Center leaders announced non-cooperation, arguing that all the seats in the districts were given to the UML.
Interestingly, disputes have surfaced even within the parties over the nomination of their own party candidates for the polls. The Maoist Center leader Tejendra Kham Magar rebelled against the party to field his candidacy against the party’s official candidate Kamal Roka in Rukum-East.
Similarly, the disgruntled Maoists have fielded rebel candidates even for the provincial assembly. Puni Raj Gharti filed independent candidacy against the Maoist Center’s candidate Tej Bahadur Oli ‘Prateek” from Rukum East (a) for the provincial assembly poll.
Likewise, People’s Front, which is one of the constituent parties of the left alliance, fielded candidacy against the alliance’s candidate Janardan Sharma in Rukum East. Khatak Singh Khadka of the front fielded candidacy against Sharma for the federal parliament.