Candidates defiant despite losing elections

Published On: July 8, 2017 12:10 AM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

ILAM, July 8: Himalaya Karmacharya, Ilam district chairperson of Nepali Congress, had filed his candidacy for the second Constitutional Assembly (CA) elections of 2013 from constituency no 1 of IIam. But unfortunately he was defeated. Karmarcharya, who was the mayor of Ilam from 1987 to 1989, had also filed his candidacy for the same post in 1997 but was defeated back then.

In the recently-held local elections, he had filed his candidacy yet again for the same post but he failed to make it to the post again. In the elections of 1997, Mahesh Basnet, district secretary of CPN-UML, had defeated Karmacharya by 73 votes. Even this time, Basnet has defeated him by 1,765 votes.  Basnet amassed 11,033 votes against Karmarcharya who garnered 9,268 votes. 

“Ilam still is a communist stronghold and there are no second thoughts about it,” said Karmacharya, adding, “Internal rifts and treachery of the candidates who couldn't get ticket played a vital role in my defeat.” According to him, NC has been trying to find out its weaknesses as well as analyzing the strengths of the opposition after the defeat.

Before the elections, Karmacharya had said, “It is not necessary to become a minister to serve the people. I have decided to file my candidacy for the local polls because of my desire to change the development scenario of my hometown.” 

Similarly, Som Maya Rai of CPN (Maoist Centre) had filed her candidacy for the post of ward chair of ward no 12 of Sangrumba, Ilam. The party had forwarded her name for the post after the prospective candidate of the party, Narayan Rai, went out of contact just a day before the deadline for filing nomination. But Rai was defeated by NC's candidate Lakhman Limbu, who garnered 724 votes followed by CPN-UMLs Chakra Bahadur Lingdem (661 votes). But, Rai finished a distant third with 325 votes. In the first CA elections, Rai had filed for her candidacy from constituency no 3 but NCs Kul Bahdur Gurung emerged victorious back in 2008. 

“Winning and losing is a part of life but that is not going to stop me from contributing to my party,” said Rai. She is associated with the party since 2001 and was also involved in the armed movement. Despite losing the elections, she is glad that her party gave her opportunity to fight in the elections twice. 

Dhal Bahadur Gurung of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal (FSFN) was also one of the nominees for post of ward chief of Sandakpur-4. But his closest competitor Bartaman Gurung of CPN-UML got elected as the chief by collecting 761 votes while Dhal Bahadur gathered 571 votes. He had also taken part in the CA elections of 2008 but lost with heavy margin against his opponents from CPN-UML, NC and CPN (Maoist centre). In the local elections of 1997, he was elected as the chairperson of then Mabu VDC.

There were many candidates like Rai, Karmachraya and Gurung who took part in the previous elections as well but failed to make it even this time. However, that has not reduced their popularity at all. Many of them had resigned from their government jobs in order to take part in the elections. Some of them got tickets from political parties while many were denied. Those who were rendered jobless after the elections are regretting their decisions.   

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