RPP decides to field Lingden against Sitaula in Jhapa

Published On: October 31, 2017 05:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 31: Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) has decided to field candidacy of party leader Rajendra Lingden in Jhapa-3 against Nepali Congress (NC) leader Krishna Sitaula, sowing seed of discontent among the democratic alliance. 

After NC's senior leader Sitaula refused to relinquish his constituency for the RPP candidate, the poll alliance partner on Monday decided to contest its candidate Lingden in the constituency. A central working committee meeting of the party has finalized the candidacies of party Chairman Thapa and other four leaders. 

According to party spokesperson Sushil Kumar Shrestha, Thapa will contest from Makwanpur-1, Lingden from Jhapa-3, Bikram Bahadur Thapa from Kathmandu-7, Om Prakash Ajad from Banke-2 anjd Dipak Kumar Shahi from Dailekh-1. 

RPP had insisted with the NC to support the party's candidate in Jhapa-3 claiming that the party has a strong influence in the constituency. After a standoff between Sitaula and Lingden, both the parties decided to contest separate candidates, despite the decision of poll alliance in other constituencies. 

“NC was positive to support RPP's candidate in the constituency but we failed to convince Sitaula as he refused to contest election under Proportional Representation category,” said an NC leader. 

RPP is under pressure to secure win in at least one constituency as the new election law has provisioned that political parties securing at least one seat under the First-Post-the-Past category and three percent total votes under the PR category will become national party. 

Though some RPP leaders were in favor of severing election ties with the NC, the party didn't take such drastic decision expecting support from the NC in Kathmandu, Makwanpur and some other constituencies, claimed RPP leaders. 

“We didn't severe ties with the NC as the party has decided to support each others' candidates except in Jhapa-3,” said RPP deputy spokesperson Mohan Shrestha. 
But NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat claimed that the NC hasn't finalized whether the party will support RPP's candidates in the constituencies as claimed by the RPP. 
“Negotiations with RPP are in progress for the poll alliance but we haven't decided to support RPP for any constituency so far,” said NC leader Mahat. 

Earlier, NC had agreed to support RPP in seven constituencies, according to an RPP leader. With the nomination date just two days away, the two parties are yet to finalize the seven constituencies for the poll alliance.

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