ILAM, Oct 15: Aspiring candidates determined to contest the upcoming parliamentary or provincial elections have intensified their meetings with the central leaders of the parties in order to persuade the latter for tickets. A good number of such poll aspirants have left the district for the capital to knock the doors of the influential leaders.
As the date for filing nomination for the polls nears, picking candidates has become a great challenge for the parties because there are too many aspirants in every party. Though the lower committees of the parties are supposed to recommend three names for one post of the upcoming elections, they have recommended as many as seven names for each post to the provincial committee.
While October 15 is the last date for filing nominations under the proportional representation category, October 22 is the deadline for registering for the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.
Almost all the prospective candidates recommended by the Nepali Congress (NC) are now in Kathmandu. They have been meeting key NC leaders like Chairperson Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel, and IIam's prominent leader Kul Bahadur Gurung, among others, and lobbying for tickets.
NC's Ilam District Chairperson Himalayan Karmacharya, Secretaries Niroj Khadgi and Khagendra Devan are now in Kathmandu. Though Karmacharya is not vying for any post, he has been in the capital lobbying for the aspirants of his favor.
Similarly, leaders like Keshav Thapa, Benupraj Prasain, and Bheshraj Acharya who have been recommended under the FPTP category in province 1 and 2 are also in the capital. Regional chairperson of NC, Durga Kumar Baral who has been recommended from the constituency no.2 of Province 1 informed Republica that he has already made is voice heard at the higher level. "I met Ram Sharan Mahat and told him why I am the suitable candidate," he said, adding, "I could not participate in the local elections as I was not provided the ticket but this time I am hopeful that the party will field me."
However, no aspirants from CPN-UML have reached Kathmandu to lobby for tickets. But they keep contacting the major party leaders on the telephone and urging them for a ticket. "Leaders and cadres determined to vie for various posts are found busy on their phones trying to impress the 'heavyweight' leaders," said one of the district members of the CPN-UML, requesting anonymity.
The UML has been able to pick candidates for most of the posts for both provincial and parliamentary elections. In order to compete in the parliamentary elections, the party has unanimously decided to forward the names of Jhalanath Khanal from Province 1 and Subash Chandra Nemwang from Province 2. Umesh Gnurung, chief of the Publicity Department of CPN-UML, said, "Irrespective of the fact that whether the aspirants have visited the central leaders in the capital, candidates will be picked on the basis of their qualification, capability, popularity and other things."
Likewise, the CPN (Maoist Centre), too, has recommended the names of its candidates for almost all posts in both the elections which will be simultaneously conducted on November 26 and December 7. However, the recently announced alliance between the left parties has made it uncertain for CPN (Maoist Center) to decide its candidates. "We are not worried about choosing candidates but till now we don't know from which province our candidates will contest," said Jiwan Sharma, district secretary of the party.