KHOTANG, Nov 19: With the objective of giving a tough fight to their rivals, almost all parties in Khotang have fielded seasoned candidates for the upcoming federal and provincial polls scheduled for November 26. Many of the experienced candidates have taken this as an opportunity to repeat their victories while some have taken it as a chance to avenge past defeats.
There are altogether 125,183 voters in the district. As many as 10 candidates have filed their candidacies for the parliamentary elections while nine will be contesting the provincial elections. But only one candidate will be able to bag victory in the parliamentary polls while two candidates will be elected through the provincial elections.
Major parties like Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center) have fielded old faces which had contested in the past elections too. Though fresh faces were also recommended for the nomination, the parties gave priority to old faces while giving tickets.
NC leader Subash Kumar Pokharel who contested the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections of 2008 will be competing for the provincial election in constituency (a) after ten years of wait. Bishnu Kumar Rai, another candidate of NC will be contesting from constituency (b). Rai was also one of the candidates in the CA elections of 2013. Unfortunately, both of them were defeated.
Similarly, Saraswoti Bajimaya, NC's candidate for the parliamentary elections is also a former lawmaker. In the elections of 2013, she was elected as a representative under the proportionate representation (PR) category.
Likewise, Bishal Bhattarai, CPN-UML's candidate for the parliamentary elections was elected in the second CA elections in 2013. Bhattarai, who was defeated by CPN (Maoist Center) candidate Samita Karki in 2008, had avenged his defeat in 2013 by defeating NC's Bishnu Kumar Rai. This time, he is set to repeat his glory all over again.
CPN (Maoist Center) Ram Kumar Rai has been fielded by the left alliance for the provincial polls in constituency (b). He too was on of the candidates in the elections of 2008. Rai, who defeated NC's Subash Kumar Pokharel is up for the battle after a hiatus of ten years. CPN-UML's central leader Rajan Rai has been fielded by the left alliance constituency (a).
Dharma Raj Pokharel of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Prajatantrik (RPP-P) who had contested the elections of 2013 from constituency no.1 hopes to secure a parliamentary seat again. Furthermore, Kul Prasad Sharma Phuyal who had registered his nomination from Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in 2013 is now competing with the Maoist Center for the provincial elections in constituency (b). Netra Bahadur Katwal, another candidate of Maoist Center will be competing in the provincial elections from constituency (b).
Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) has fielded Dr Krishna Kumar Rai for the parliamentary elections and Nabin Rai for the provincial elections in constituency (a) and Tanka Bahadur Thapa in constituency (b). Moreover, Naya Shakti Nepal's Madan Rai and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN)'s Bishwash Rai will be competing in the parliamentary elections. RJPN has fielded Tulsi Kumar Rai for the provincial elections in constituency (a).