KANCHANPUR, Nov 30: With the second phase of elections to the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly is just a week ahead, election fervor has gripped Kanchanpur.
Political parties, leaders, and cadres in Kanchanpur have expedited their election campaigns. Besides, various social media are also being massively used to turn table in their favor in the elections.
With three constituencies in the districts, 14 political parties are vying for three posts in the House of Representatives.
Bina Magar from the left alliance and Diwan Singh Bista from Nepali congress are contesting the elections to the House of Representatives.
Similarly, Nepali Congress candidate Narayan Prakash (NP) Saud and Nar Bahadur Dhami from the left alliance are vying for the post under the first-past-the-post system while in constituency-3, Ramesh Lekhak from Nepali Congress is locking horns withd Dipak Prakash Bhatta from the left alliance.
NP Saud and Ramesh lekhak, who are former ministers and central committee members of Nepali Congress had been elected to the parliament members - in 1999 and 2013 from constituency 2 and 3 respectively.
They are now contesting with the common candidates of left alliance – Saud contesting the elections with Nar Bahadur Dhami while Lekhak with Dipak Prakash Bhatta.
Similarly, in constituency 1, Bina Magar, daughter-in-law of CPN-Maoist chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal is contesting with the former parliament member Diwan Singh Bista, candidate from Nepali Congress.
It is likely that left alliance and democratic alliance will have a tough competition in the district. Looking back at the previous elections of the district, there was a competition between CPN-UML, CPN-Maoists and Nepali congress.
In the general election of 1991, Nepali Congress won the both constituencies while CPN-UML clinched victory in the mid-term elections of 1994 in the district.
Accordingly, in the general elections held in 1999, NC won the entire constituencies. Likewise in the first Constituent Assembly elections held in 2007, then CPN-Maoist won the elections while NC secured win in the Second Constituent Assembly in 2013.
The left alliance candidates are confident to win the elections based on the votes they got in the local level elections.
Out of nine local levels in the district, seven mayoral candidates representing left alliance won the elections. In constituency 1 left alliance had got 14, 573 votes more than Nepali congress, in constituency 2 left alliance had got 11,183 more votes than NC. Similarly in constituency 3 there was a tough competition. In this constituency, left alliance had 88 votes more than NC.
Left alliance candidates have claimed that public will elect them because the results of local level election was in their favor. Maoist Center leader Magar has a strong backing from UML. However, NC candidate Bista is also not a weak candidate. Magar had lost the Second Constituent Assembly elections to Bista.
In constituency 2, former Minister Saud is a strong candidate, a rival of left alliance candidate Nar Bahdur Dhami. Dhami is the new face in this constituency. Bahdaur Singh Thapa had defeated Dhami in the Second Constituent Assembly elections in Constituency 3. Thapa is the candidate for Provincial Assembly election in Constituency 2 (B). Saud had won twice from the same constituency. He had done so many development activities and is popular among voters.
Probably, Ramesh lekhak and Dipak Prakash Saud will have a tough competition in Constituency-3 in the upcoming elections this time.
Lekhak was elected twice to the parliament member from the same constituency in 1999 and 2013. NC used to win in this constituency regularly except two parliamentary elections. Lekhak is claiming to make a hat-trick this time, because he had done so many development works in the constituency. However, left alliance candidate Dipak Prakash Bhatta has a strong support of CPN (Maoist Center). If the Maoist supporters voted for Bhatta, he is sure to win.
Bhatta is also a new face to the voters. He had never contested any elections in the district. He had served as a member of the Army Integration Special Committee. He holds a PhD in security and foreign affairs from Jawaharlal Nehru.
The contest between Lekhak and Bhatta will be interesting for the onlookers.