KATHMANDU, Nov 6: Ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and the Madhes-centric Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) have forged electoral adjustments in their attempt to ensure victory for their top leaders in various electoral constituencies.
The parties reached the agreement as negotiations continued till Sunday evening- the deadline set by the Election Commission (EC) for withdrawing candidates--to create favorable poll environment for their senior leaders.
The NC has decided to support RJPN coordinator Mahantha Thakur who is contesting for parliament from Mahottari-3 and withdrawing its candidate Bajaranga Nepali from the constituency. “I have been instructed by the [NC] central office to withdraw my candidacy,” said Nepali. He said he received verbal instruction from the party brass to withdraw.
Nepali said he was surprised by the party instruction even as the party's position in the constituency appears strong. He, however, said that he could not withdraw his candidacy as there is no provision for a party's official candidate to withdraw individually. According to the election law, only the person who recommended the candidate by putting his/her signature on the nomination paper can withdraw the candidacy.
Similarly, NC has decided to support FSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav in Saptari-2. Although NC's official candidate Sakal Dev Sutiyar could not withdraw his candidacy due to technical reasons, the party has decided to support Yadav in the constituency.
NC had asked FSFN to support its candidate Pradip Giri in Siraha-1 in exchange for its support to FSFN candidates in Saptari-2, and Siraha 2 and 3. Raj Lal Yadav is the official candidate of FSFN in Giri's constituency.
Although Upendra Yadav tried to convince Raj Lal to withdraw the latter's candidacy till the last minute [the withdrawal deadline was Sunday evening], his attempts failed. Although NC has pledged its support to FSFN, it could not withdraw its candidates in Siraha 2 and 3 and Saptari 2 on Sunday.
However, FSFN Chairman Yadav withdrew his party's candidate Manoj Kumar Yadav from Sunsari-4 to support Nepali Congress candidate Gyanendra Bahadur Karki in the constituency. Prior to this, NC had decided to support FSFN senior leader Ashok Rai in Sunsari -1.
With FSFN candidate Yadav out of the race, NC leader Karki is set for electoral battle with leftist alliance candidate Ramesh Shrestha of the CPN-UML. Shrestha had joined the UML only a year ago after quitting the Rastriya Prajatantra Party.
Although the NC and the Madhes-centric parties have been able to make electoral adjustments in their attempt to secure victory for their top leaders, they could not make such adjustment in Dhanusha-3, where Bimalendra Nidhi is NC's candidate and Rajendra Mahato is RJPN candidate. Repeated attempts by top NC leaders have failed to convince Mahato to withdraw his candidacy in the constituency.