ROLPA, Nov 3: The CPN (Maoist Center) still has a strong hold in Rolpa district, the place of origin of the decade-long armed Maoist conflict. Of late, however, other parties have entered the district and created their own influence base, paving the way for an interesting electoral contest which would otherwise have been one-sided.
However, instead of being busy in election campaigns, candidates for the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections of Rolpa are in Kathmandu.
For instance, Maoist Center candidate Barsaman Pun of the left alliance and Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Amar Singh Pun of the 'democratic' alliance are still in Kathmandu. They both are contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections from the only constituency in Rolpa.
Although NC has been interested in reclaiming their previous stronghold Rolpa after the peace process, Maoist Center's strong influence in the district has been the major obstacle. The party has forged a 'democratic' alliance with Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) to contest the parliamentary and provincial elections in the district.
In the last local elections, NC registered victory in only one rural municipality out of the total of 10 local units in the district. Likewise, CPN-UML also won in only two local units. In contrast, the Maoist Center easily grabbed seven local units - one municipality and six rural municipalities.
As the Maoist Center recently joined hands with UML to form a leftist alliance, the road ahead for NC in Rolpa looks even tougher. Until and unless they come up with efficient strategies to counter the communist influence in the district, NC will not be able to meet its ambitious goal.