ROLPA, Nov 27: Participating in the recently-held general elections was like biting a bullet for the Maoists who came to the election field in the last local level elections as a part of the ruling alliance. Even the party’s bastion in Rolpa was not secure. Apart from Rukum West, the presence of Maoists in other districts was not satisfactory. In the 17 years of the peace process, the Maoists struggled to save their legacy.
The Maoists who have won 17 seats across the country have won 3 out of 26 seats in the 12 districts of Lumbini Province. Out of 52 seats for the province assembly, Maoists had to settle for five. Maoists have won a HoR seat in Rukum East. But independent candidate Surul Pun was elected in province (A) and Dhan Bahadur KC of Congress was elected in province (B). The Congress won both the provincial seats in Jajarkot, which is considered to be another stronghold of the Maoists. However, the Maoists’ Shakti Bahadur Basnet was successful in the House of Representatives election here.
Barshaman was re-elected to the House of Representatives of Rolpa, while independent candidate Dipendra Kumar won again in province (B). Jokh Bahadur Mahara of the Maoists has been elected in Rolpa Province (A). The results of the election in West Rukum were favorable for Janardhan Sharma such that he could strike a bargain with the party. Here, the Maoist monopoly remained in the House of Representatives and the Provincial Assembly.
Because of the alliance, the House of Representatives seat in Salyan was given to Prakash Jwala of the CPN (Unified Socialist), and the Maoist Center was left with only one seat. With the victory of UML's Surya Thapa in Pyuthan, the Maoist’s could not maintain their presence even in the provincial assembly. After leaving the House of Representatives for the Rastriya Janamorcha, the Maoists who were satisfied in the province could not even show their presence.
On the strength of the alliance, although Rekha Sharma from the Maoist party won with a small margin in Dang-2, the party’s presence was limited to two of the six provincial assembly seats here. There was no presence of Maoist representatives in Palpa, another Maoist bastion. No representative of the Maoists will be represented in Dailekh. The Maoist Center will be present in the House of Representatives constituency of Kalikot and in one province.
This time the voter turnout is less than in the past. Again, the alliance made it somewhat easier for the Maoists to save their credibility in these base areas. Even though it is a coalition, the votes falling on Maoists side seem to have decreased a lot in comparison. The Maoists had difficulties winning the elections even in their strongholds.