TAPLEJUNG, Nov 6: There are eight candidates in constituency-1 of Taplejung while constituency-2 of the district has 15 candidates of various political parties. The main competition, however, is between the 'democratic' alliance led by Nepali Congress (NC) and the left alliance comprising of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center).
For either of the alliance to win, the newly registered voters would play a crucial and decisive role, it has been observed.
The left alliance has fielded senior leader and UML Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai, 56, for parliamentary election. He is contesting against both older and younger rivals - Keshav Prasad Dahal, 67, of NC and Aaita Mabo, 37, of Rastriya Janamukti Party.
NC candidate Dahal had previously contested as mayoral candidate in the local elections in Fungling Municipality. Although the party had formed electoral alliance with the Maoist Center, Dahal eventually faced defeat against UML candidate Chatrapati Pyakurel. This time, the situation is different for Dahal. His previous ally Maoist Center is now the opposition.
In the local elections, Taplejung had a total of 78,397 voters. The number of registered voters has now increased by 7,618. The recently registered voters are an addition of 19,588 voters since the 2013 Constitution Assembly (CA) elections of the country.
In the 2013 CA elections, UML had won both the constituencies of the district. The party had won the constituency-1 with 7,434 votes while it secured constituency-2 with 7,034 votes. Their main opponent had remained the NC in both the constituencies while the Maoist Center had secured the third highest votes.
At present, the number of registered voters in constituency-1 has reached 43,537. Likewise, constituency-2 of the district has a total of 34,861 registered voters.
Along with the left and democratic alliances, other parties contesting the elections include Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nationalist, Rastriya Janamukti Party, Naya Shakti Party among others.
The NC had teamed up with the Maoist Center in four local units, including a municipality, while the party forged electoral alliance with Rastriya Prajatantra Party in another local unit during the local elections. Along with the NC, the Maoist Center had contested in one local unit by forging electoral alliance with Federal Limbuwan Manch. The UML had contested in other local units as an ally of Federal Limbuwan Manch.
In the provincial election, the left alliance has fielded UML district chairman Bal Bahadur Samsonghang in constituency 1(a). There are seven opponents including NC District President Lila Devi Bokhim contesting in the same constituency.
Likewise in constituency 1 (b), Tanka Aangbuhang of the Maoist Center is representing the left alliance. He is being challenged by NC candidate Deependra Sengdang, who is also former president of the District Development Committee. Seven other candidates are also vying for the provincial assembly seat.
Taplejung , with the total population of 127,461, is the biggest district of the country after Humla and Dolpa.