SURKHET, Sept 30: Defying the instructions of party Chairman KP Sharma Oli, CPN-UML is engaged in a competition during the ongoing convention of Karnali province. Gulab Jung Shah and Min Bahadur Shahi, the primary contenders for the post of Karnali province chairman, have formed a panel and are actively participating.
Currently, there are three candidates for the chairmanship of Karnali province. Raj Bahadur Shahi of Dailekh and Prem Bahadur Singh of Kalikot have withdrawn their candidacies among those who submitted nominations for the post of Chairman on Friday.
Raj Bahadur Shahi, who withdrew his candidacy, has pledged support to Min Bahadur Shahi, while Singh has endorsed Gulab Jung Shah. Tekraj of Jumla is the next candidate for vice chairman from Shah's panel. He is a member of the Karnali Province Assembly and also holds the outgoing Province Secretary position. Dhruba Kumar Shahi of Surkhet is in the election race from Shah's panel for the post of secretary. He previously served as the chairman of UML Surkhet.
Similarly, Lal Bahadur Mahatara of Jajarkot is a candidate for the vice president from Shahi's panel. Rudra Shahi of Dailekh has nominated himself for the post of secretary. Dandi Prasad Sharma from Surkhet, who initially submitted his candidacy for secretary, withdrew and decided to support Shahi instead.
During the inauguration of the Province Convention, party Chairman Oli stated that factional competition would not be allowed. While individuals are eligible to be candidates, he warned that action would be taken against them if they contested the election by forming a panel. In Karnali, there is a competition between panels led by Politburo member Yam Lal Kandel and Gorakh Bahadur Bogati. Shah is from the Kandel panel, while Shahi represents the Bogati panel.
Matrika Khanal, coordinator of the election committee, mentioned that the election commenced at 2 PM. A total of 604 delegates are participating in the convention. From this ongoing session, UML will establish a 135-member provincial committee.