July 11, 2017 12:30 AM NPT
By: Amar Khadka
ITAHARI, July 11: Nepali Congress (NC) has made a comeback in Sunsari district, winning 6 mayoral and 5 deputy mayoral posts in the 12 local units at stake there in the local polls. The party had suffered a humiliating defeat in the district during the first Constituent Assembly (CA) election and only managed to win one constituency in the second one.
CPN-UML is still leading the polls in the district despite having lost in some of its strongholds. Nepal Loktantrik Forum (NLF) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), both Madhes-centric parties, have won in their respective home areas. On the other hand, CPN (Maoist Center) has also lost badly in the district.
NC managed to win 6 top posts -- 2 municipality mayors and 4 rural municipality chiefs-- and 4 deputy posts--1 municipality deputy mayor and 3 rural municipality deputy chiefs.
They also secured 41ward chairpersons and 149 ward members. Although the majority of the voters are of Madhesi descent, the Madhes-centric parties could not reach out to them, which is why NC might have prevailed.
UML won the mayoral posts in Itahari Metropolitan City and Bara Municipality and deputy chief posts in 1 sub-metropolitan city and 2 rural municipalities. They also managed to bag 42 ward chairpersons and 171 ward members. Although they are the leading party in the district, they did not pull off victories in the other areas, which they had won in previous local elections.
UML also won the post of deputy mayor of Itahari. Hari Lal Chaudhary won the mayoral post while Laxmi Gautam won deputy mayor. Along with this, UML also managed to secure 8 ward chairperson and 48 ward members in the metropolitan city.
Heavyweights Bijay Kumar Gachhadar of NLF and Upendra Yadav of FSFN managed to win both major posts in their strongholds. NLF secured both mayoral and deputy mayoral posts in Duhabi and Barju Rural Municipalities.
FSFN won both chief and deputy chief in Bhokraha Rural Municipality. In the first CA election, Yadav-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum had won 3 constituencies while in the second parliamentary elections, both had managed to win 1 constituency each.
Maoist Center suffered the most among the three big parties, managing to win only 2 ward chairpersonships and 5 memberships. In the second CA elections also they won only a single constituency.
Three independent candidates won the post of chairperson and 2 memberships respectively between them. Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal won 1 ward membership only.
Although UML won the top posts, NC has also made progress in the district. It secured 11 ward chairpersons and 30 ward memberships. In the last local elections, it had won in only 1 ward.
There are currently 20 wards which fall in constituency no. 2. Besides UML and Congress, NLF also managed to win 1 ward chairperson and 1 ward member each while Maoist Center won 1 member.
In Inaruwa municipality, which falls in constituency no. 4, NC managed to win 6 ward chairpersons and 16 ward members while UML won 6 ward chairpersons and 24 ward members.
Koshi Rural Municipality, a FSFN stronghold, was breached by NC, winning both chief and deputy chief. It also secured 2 ward chairperson and 10 members. UML secured 1 ward chairperson and 10 members. NLF won 2 ward chairpersons and 3 members while FSFN secured 2 ward chairpersons and 8 members.
The main drawback for FSFN in Koshi was its candidacies. Dev Krishna Yadav was a top contender for the party ticket. But the ticked went to Jitu Kharewar.
In Gadhi Rural Municipality, NC won 3 ward chairpersons and 7 members. UML secured 2 ward chairpersons and 7 members. NLF won 1 ward chairperson and 1 member. Despite a majority of the people being of Madhesi descent, FSFN did not win a single post.
Duhabi Municipality, home of NLF Chairman Gachhadar, won both the mayoral and deputy mayoral posts, alongside 5 ward chairpersons and 24 members. UML bagged 3 ward chairperson and 11 members while NC won 3 ward chairpersons and 9 members.
In Devangunj Rural Municipality, NC won both chief and deputy chief alongside 5 ward chairpersons and 14 members . FSFN won 1 ward chairperson along with 9 members. NLF won 1 ward chairperson and 4 members.
Bhokraha Rural Municipality saw FSFN, which won both the chief and deputy chief, also secure 3 ward chairpersons and 9 members. UML also won 3 ward chairpersons and 9 members. NC managed 2 ward chairpersons and 11 members.
Baraha Municipality is considered a UML stronghold, and they won both mayor and deputy mayor alongside 3 ward chairpersons and 9 members. NC won 2 ward chairpersons and 11 members. Meanwhile, NLF and RPP Nepal managed to secure 1 ward member each.
NC breached the UML stronghold of Ramdhuni Municipality, winning the post of mayor. It also managed to win 3 ward chairpersons and 13 members. Neanwhile, UML managed to salvage the deputy mayorship along with 6 ward chairpersons and 23 members.
There are two metropolitan cities, four municipalities and six rural municipalities in Sunsari district, which is going to have 644 elected representatives. Vote counting is in its final stages in Dharan Sub-Metropolitan.