DADELDHURA, Nov 17: Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has begun election trails in his home constituency, Dadeldhura, from where he secured fifth victory in parliamentary elections and managed to head the government for the fourth times.
Soon after arriving his home constituency on Thursday PM Deuba has started to convince locals to vote for his sixth consecutive victory. Deuba, who filed his candidacy through party representatives citing his busy scheduled, is under pressure this time after two prominent communist parties-CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Center) forged poll alliance to counter grand old democratic Congress party.
In his first address to the voters, Deuba tried to win hearts of locals with sentimental speech. "I am a member of your family and you can complain or quarrel with me even if I am the prime minister," said Deuba addressing mass gathering organized in Dedeldhura Busparl adding, "I will be prime minister next time as well if you elect me in this election."
Deuba said he will work for development of his district and will work for overall development and economic prosperity if he gets yet another chance to lead the country as prime minister. "I was prime minister in past, I am prime minister this time and will be prime minister in future as well," said adding that he introduced his district familiar in America and rest of the world.
Accusing left alliance of trying to impose left alliance Deuba urged locals to vote for Congress party. "Democracy will be at risk if communists emerge win elections," said Deuba claiming that Congress has ensured right to education and other freedoms.
The prime minister assured of introducing lucrative package for senior citizens if his party gets elected in the elections. Deuba said his government was for providing allowances for unemployed youths but could not materialize as the government could not introduce new budget.
Voters are miffed with the prime minister for not implementing poll assurance made in past elections. He tried to assure voters saying that the construction of two hydropower projects-West Seti and Pacheshwor Hydropower Project-are ongoing.
Voters in the areas have been complaining that these two projects that could change the fate of locals of far-western region have been stranded for two decades. "Political leaders promise big to spearhead these two big hydropower projects only during the election campaigns," said Dr. Mukunda Kalauni, a Professor Far-western University, who teaches political science.
In his Thursday's address, Deuba promised to build medical college in Dadeldhura and upgrade local roads.
Refuting CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli's claim that this will be last prime ministerial term for Deuba, the prime minister said "astrologer has prediction that I will be prime minister for seven terms that mean I have three more terms remaining"
Deuba's poll prospect has become the talk of the town in Dadeldhura. The left alliance comprising two major communist parties has fielded Maoist Center's Khagaraj Bhatta against Deuba. Until the parliamentary elections in 1999, Deuba did not feel any threat from the candidates of rival parties and contested only from his home constituency. When the then CPN (Maoist), which has been now branded as the CPN (Maoist Center), fielded its influential leader Bhatta against Deuba in the 2008 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, Deuba contested the elections from Kanchanpur-4 as well. Like in the previous elections, Deuba was elected but the winning margin was very thin, compared to the previous elections - just 1,368 votes.
In the 2008 CA elections, Deuba emerged victorious securing 20,529 votes while his closest rival, Maoist leader Bhatta secured 19,161 votes. Similarly, UML candidate Bikram Bahadur Shahi secured 7,942 votes.
Fearing defeat, Deuba filed his candidacy from Kailai-4 and Dadeldhura in 2013 CA elections. UML's vote was almost intact even in the second CA elections but the Maoists could not do well. Thus, Deuba secured more votes in the 2013 CA elections than in the first CA elections.
In the 2013 CA elections, Deuba secured 23,920 votes while Bhatta got 12,493 votes. UML candidate Tara Prasad Joshi got 7,190 votes.
In the recent local polls in the district, NC secured victory in four local units, UML in two and Maoist Center in one. Despite failing to win the local elections, the left alliance secured 8,605 more popular votes than NC.