GORKHA, Oct 18: Leaders and cadres of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) have expressed skepticism that supporting Naya Shakti Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai for the election from Gorkha Constituency-2 at the expense of their own candidates would yield any benefit to the NC.
They have been venting their ire against the party leadership through various social media and at party discussions.
They claimed that Bhattarai holds the belief that NC should be eradicated from its root but he came back for alliance after he did not get to contest from Gorkha-2.
“What is the guarantee that Naya Shakti's cadres would vote for our party in other constituencies?” asked an NC leader.
In Gorkha, the NC has emerged as the major force in the recently concluded local elections by winning nine of the 11 local units. In contrast, Bhattarai's Naya Shakti is only fourth, behind CPN (Maoist Center) in second and CPN-UML in third.
Majority of NC leaders and cadres are not willing to forgo Gorkha-2 to support Bhattarai's candidacy. The leftist alliance of UML and Maoist Center is preparing to field Maoist Center's leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha to contest against Bhattarai, who had quit the recently formed leftist alliance after being denied his candidacy.
In return for NC's support in Constituency-2, Bhattarai has pledged to help NC in Constituency-1. Analysts say Bhattarai can easily win Constituency-2 with NC's support. However, NC leaders are not convinced of victory in Constituency-1 with Bhattarai's support, leading to intra-party conflict within NC.
“It is our duty to ensure our own victory, not Bhattarai's victory,” said Rajendra Bajgain, NC's main contender for candidacy in Gorkha-1.