KATHMANDU, May 5: Attempts by the ruling coalition leaders to convince Jagannath Poudel, the rebel candidate for the post of Bharatpur mayor from the Nepali Congress (NC), have not been successful till Thursday morning. Poudel has maintained that he will not withdraw his candidacy.
A group including Jagannath Poudel, who arrived at Hotel Siraichuli in Bharatpur on Thursday morning at the invitation of NC President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, has returned without meeting Deuba.
According to a Bharatpur-based media person, Jagannath Poudel's group reached the hotel at 8 AM on Thursday. But, Prime Minister Deuba, who was busy meeting the district level leaders and Mahasamiti members of his party and others throughout Wednesday night, was still asleep.
"Jagannath was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Deuba at 8 AM, but when Deuba did not wake up by that time, Jagannath and his team returned after meeting senior NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel," said the media person. “Jagannath's group left the hotel without meeting Deuba.”
Senior NC leader Ram Chandra had reached Bharatpur on Wednesday and stayed at the same hotel. He, too, repeatedly urged Jagannath to withdraw his candidature but in vain.
Ram Chandra repeatedly urged Jagannath and his team to meet the party president, but the group left the hotel saying that their election program was about to start in Jyotinagar.
Rebel candidate Jagannath was accompanied by Krishnalal Sapkota, supporter Mina Kharel and former MP Bhim Bahadur Shrestha. All four of them met Ram Chandra but there was no conclusion regarding backing off from the candidacy.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba arrived there on Wednesday to address an election rally.
A complaint against PM Deuba has been lodged at the local election office, accusing him of violating the election code of conduct.