BUTWAL, August 5: Intra-party conflict has started in the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress (NC), the top two parties in the local polls, after their candidates were defeated in various local units where the parties had expected to win. Candidates who lost the elections have blamed fellow party leaders and cadres for their defeat.
The UML won all posts except the mayoral post in Sunwal Municipality, prompting the party's mayoral candidate Bimala Aryal to allege that she had been backstabbed by the central committee members and other party members. She published the names of two dozen individuals in a local newspaper, accusing them of betraying her and demanding punishment to them.
“Instead of looking for the real reasons behind the defeat, blaming party members is wrong,” said Umanath Pokharel, UML'S chairman of Nawalparasi-4. Pokharel is one of the 24 party cadres accused by Aryal for her defeat.
The defeat has divided UML's district committee into two groups. Under the leadership of Tulasi Pasi, a district organization committee was formed after they considered the western part of Daunne a separate district rather than Nawalparasi. “In our District Organization Committee meeting, various slogans were shouted against the organization which has raised the rhetoric of blaming each other,” said Pokharel.
A similar blame game is seen in Devdaha Municipality of Rupandehi where UML mayoral candidate Tika Ram Chapagain has blamed the members of his own party after losing the mayoral race to NC's Hira Bahadur Khatri. UML's provincial committee had decided to field Nil Kantha Poudel in the race for the mayoral post. However, the party fielded Chapagain.
Nepali Congress has faced similar problems in various local units such as Siddharthanagar and Tilottama municipalities. Matrika Yadac, NC's mayoral candidate for Siddharthanagar, claimed that there were nearly a dozen aspirants in the party for the mayoral post. “When you select one from a dozen aspirants and lose the election, then of course there is going to be disappointment which has led to the blame game inside the party,” said Ram Chandra Dhakal, former NC president of Rupandehi.
In Tilottama Municipality, NC lost the mayoral race despite forming an electoral alliance with Rastriya Janamukti Party. NC cadres have said that the decision to forma al alliance with the Janamukti Party and providing the ticket on the basis of nepotism led to their defeat in Tilottama Municipality. Several local NC leaders were against their mayoral candidate Ram Krishna Khand, the younger brother of NC central leader and former minister Bal Krishna Khand.