POKHARA, Oct 15: With the parliamentary and provincial elections just around the corner, most of the district level leaders of established political parties have flocked to the capital to meet the central leaders of their party to lobby for their candidacy.
However, many such aspirants have not been able to meet their central leaders due to the large number of aspirants in queue to meet them.
Central leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and the main opposition CPN-UML are having their busiest time handling aspirants and district leaders of their party. Some leaders of CPN (Maoist Center) have also reached Kathmandu for the same reason.
Rishi Ram Kafle of Kaski-2, who recently confirmed his candidacy for parliamentary elections, is one among them.
“Hundreds of local leaders from all over the country are in the capital now. Most of them are in Kathmandu to confirm their candidacy,” he said in a telephone conversation with Republica, adding that the purpose of his visit was the same.
According to him, NC leaders are very busy not only to meet the aspirants, but also because they are preparing the Proportional Representation (PR) list for the elections.
“It is extremely difficult to get hold of central leaders. As all the poll aspirants wants to meet them, we have no choice but to stay in queue and wait for our turn,” Kafle said. “The role of central leaders is not only to meet us, but also get involved in inter-party negotiations and handle other issues. Therefore, they have a very hectic schedule, making it difficult for us to meet them.”
Likewise, many district-level leaders of UML also are in Kathmandu to lobby for their candidacy, according to Damodar Bairagi, district secretary of UML's Kaski chapter, who is in the capital himself.
Although Bairagi had arrived in Kathmandu five days ago, he was finally able to meet his party's chairman on Saturday for a brief period.
“It is extremely difficult to set appointments with central leaders at this time. The electoral collusion with Maoist Center has also kept them busy and occupied,” he said.
Upon meeting his party's chair, Bairagi requested the chairman to grant him parliamentary ticket for the first time in his 38-year-old political career.
“Everyone is more anxious about their candidacy, especially because the electoral collusion with Maoist Center created even more competition,” he added.
Recommendation from the district alone would not secure candidacy for the aspirants due to the electoral alliance, given the need to lobby with central leaders.