BIRATNAGAR, July 5: Letang, Sundarharicha and Ratuwamai rural municipalities of Morang were once known as the stronghold of the CPN-UML. In every election, the party would emerge victorious. But the results of the local elections held recently clearly disappointed the party, signaling that other parties too are making in-roads into the strongholds of CPN-UML.
NC emerged victorious in various local units of Morang by defeating the CPN-UML. NC has been leading with majority in Belbari and Urlabari municipalities of the district where CPN-UML supposedly had a good hold in the past. Reportedly, NC benefited a lot from the internal feud in the UML. There was a great dispute among the leaders of CPN-UML while picking candidates. This dilly-dallying of the party had greatly disappointed the voters which can be seen in the ballot papers.
There are 10 wards in Kerabari rural municipality and there are altogether 17,796 eligible voters. Harkaman Tamang of CPN-UML was elected as the chief in both of the previous local elections. “Kerabari is home to communists,” said Kishan Shahi a politician.
According to him, leaders of CPN-UML were unable to satisfy the needs and demands of the locals even after getting elected which compelled the locals to change their minds.
“Locals gave way to the other parties because they were eager for change,” he added.
NCs candidate Rohit Karki was elected the new chairperson of Kerabari Rural Municipality after garnering 5,416 votes. His closest rival, Nabin Thapa of CPN-UML, got 5,176 votes. So, NC was able to beat CPN-UML in its own stronghold with 240 votes.
“Due to the internal feud, groupism and dissatisfaction among the party members, we lost Kerabari,” said one of the district leaders of CPN-UML, adding “we are still trying to find out our weaknesses.”
Sundar Haraincha Municipality, which has the largest numbers of voters in the district, was also known as a stronghold of communists. There were altogether 52,670 eligible voters in this municipality and its northern belt was known as a fort of the CPN-UML. But the party was defeated by NC. Shiva Prasad Dhakal, NC's candidate bagged the mayoral post by garnering 16,821 votes. His closest opponent, Kedar Guragain of CPN-UML, gathered 15,853 votes. It was a great challenge for Dhakal to beat his opponent Guragain but he took the advantage of the internal feud and dissatisfaction among the CPN-UML members and used it against them.
Similarly, the eastern belt of Ratuwamai Municipality was also known as a fort of CPN-UML. In every election, the locals have stood by the party and elected its candidates.
Locals were so much loyal to this party that even Girija Prasad Koirala could not defeat the CPN-UML candidate during the Constituent Assembly Elections. As this is recognized as the pocket area of the CPN-UML, the number of aspirants was very high.
But the party could not provide ticket to all of them. So, the ones rejected by the party started plotting against it.
NC candidate Rabin Rai was elected the mayor of the rural municipality by garnering 9,895 votes against CPN-UML's Tekendra Pomu who got 1,795 votes. Oshim Alam, district leader of CPN-UML, said “It is really selfish that the aspirants were not ready to support the party because they could not get the ticket.”
Likewise, in Letang Municipality also, the NC emerged victorious. NC's Shankar Rai defeated CPN-UML's Bhupendra Lawati with 305 votes.