BARA, Dec 18: With the Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) winning the most provincial assembly seats in Province-2 and becoming the obvious contender to lead the provincial government, multiple aspirants for chief minister have emerged in the party.
Three major leaders of the party have been staking their claim to the chief ministerial post, including party Vice Chairman Lalbabu Raut, Bijay Yadav and regional leader Koushal Yadav.
FSFN has won 20 seats in the provincial assembly under first-past-the-post (FPTP) and is likely to win another nine seats under proportional representation (PR). According to preliminary calculations, the party is likely to emerge as the largest in the province with approximately 29 provincial assembly seats, followed by Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) with 23 seats, CPN-UML with 22, Nepali Congress (NC) with 16 and Maoist Center 11. But the Election Commission is yet to declare final seat allocations for the parties, pending final results of the PR vote count.
Party Vice-president Raut had contested the provincial assembly poll, claiming the post of chief minister for himself. Likewise, Bijay Yadav has also been claiming the post when the party forms the provincial government.
Meanwhile, regional leader of the party Koushal Yadav has claimed that he is more capable of leading the province. Yadav was elected to the provincial assembly from Mahottari-4(a).
“I led the latest movement in Madhes for the rights of the Madhesi people. I played a vital role in taking the protests to a climax in Mahottari and Dhanusha,” he said on Monday. During an interaction with journalists at Kalaiya, he said he was forced to live in India for a year after the state filed various charge against him. A former lawmaker, Yadav also claimed that he decided to contest the provincial assembly polls following assurances from the party's leaders that he would be given the post of chief minister .