November 2, 2017 07:43 AM NPT
By: Akson Rai
BHOJPUR, Nov 2: Bhojpur district has historically been a fort of the country’s communist parties. While the left alliance gears up to defend their traditional stronghold, the democratic alliance led by the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) is determined to lead a successful assault in the upcoming electoral battle slated for November 26.
An intense contest between the two major forces awaits Bhojpur as the parliamentary and provincial elections are now just 24 days away. NC is working on election campaigns with a strong determination to break the communist legacy in the district by winning the elections and making its own history.
In order to meet its ambitious objectives, the NC has forged a democratic alliance with the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN). On the other hand, the leftist alliance is made up of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center).
The main challenge for the leftist alliance is that some of their ground cadres and some voters are still unaware that the Maoist Center, who was in an electoral alliance with NC, has now switched sides to join the UML. This makes it difficult to predict who might win the elections.
NC plans to take advantage of the unawareness among left alliance voters. The party is also actively persuading disgruntled cadres of the leftist forces in an attempt to steal votes.
The left alliance has fielded Maoist Center leader Sudhan Kiranti to contest the parliamentary elections in Bhojpur. On the other hand, the democratic forces are counting on NC leader Umesh Jung Rayamajhi to bring election glory at the expense of the leftist candidate Kiranti.
Based on the result of the last local elections, Rayamajhi has a very tough challenge ahead. While the left alliance had collectively got 40,021 votes; NC’s alliance could muster only 21,905 votes. With the difference of 18,116 votes against NC, it is hard to see what tactics could work to overcome such a large deficit.
In the provincial-level elections, the leftist alliance seems to have more influence in area (a) than in area (b) as evident by the results of the local elections. Area (a) would have an intense contest between the two alliances due to stronger presence and influence of NC in the area.
The democratic alliance has fielded Ajambar Rai Kangmang to contest from the area. He would be challenging left alliance candidate Rajendra Rai, who is also a central member of the UML.
In area (b), the left alliance has fielded UML politburo member Sherdhan Rai, who is also a former minister for communication. NC’s former district secretary Govind Bahadur Karki is challenging UML’s Rai.
Political observers are of the opinion that it’s highly challenging for the NC and the democratic alliance to get victory in the district. However, they say the candidates matter a lot when it comes to defeat and victory.