#General Election 2022

Previously companions, now competitors

Published On: October 21, 2022 12:57 PM NPT By: Balkrishna Adhikari

KATHMANDU, Oct 21: In the election of members of the House of Representatives to be held on November 20, the main competitors are the leaders who were colleagues in the same party as well as those who had supported each other through electoral coordination. Compared to the previous elections, now the party alignment is changing; the parties are divided and the parties are changing, so the competition is going to be between the leaders who were previously companions. And the parties and leaders who were the main competitors in the previous elections have now become the closest allies.

CPN-UML candidates are competing with their former colleagues in 16 constituencies of the House of Representatives, leaving aside those who have become rebels because of their dissatisfaction with the candidate recommendations made by the party. CPN (Unified Socialist) which was formed after splitting from the UML has joined hands with the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center), Rastriya Janamorcha Party and has entered into the competition.

In the 2017 elections, the UML, which had an electoral alliance with the Maoist Center, is competing with the candidates of the same party in the upcoming elections. In alliance with the NC, it seems that the Maoist Center which has fielded candidates in 47 constituencies of the House of Representatives will compete with the UML in many places. After the formation of the CPN and its subsequent split into the UML and the Maoist Center, former Maoist leaders who are now in the UML are also in competition with their former comrades. The leaders who went advocating their colleagues’ wins in the previous elections have now come to the field opposing the same leaders.

The situation is the same not only between the UML and Maoist Center, but also with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and the current Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) led by Upendra Yadav which collaborated with the NC in the previous elections. The NC is now seeking votes by supporting the previously main competitor Maoists for 47 seats. The Maoists have also urged the voters to vote for NC candidates. JSP, which stood against UML candidates in the previous election, is now coordinating and cooperating with the party for the upcoming election.

In the previous election, the RPP, which had contested the election together with the NC, has now again joined forces with the UML against the NC. Not only in the election competition, bitterness with recriminations has started to be seen between them.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba is also one of the competitors who was a companion/associate of previous election. Against Deuba, who is contesting from Dadeldhura for the member of the House of Representatives, his colleague Karna Malla has entered the field from Nepali Congress (BP) with the support of CPN-UML. Deuba's main competitor in the previous election in Dadeldhura, Khagaraj Bhatta of the Maoist Center, is now a candidate for the Provincial Assembly member becoming an ally to NC.

The situation is similar for UML General Secretary Shankar Pokhrel. Pokhrel became a member of the Lumbini Provincial Assembly after leaving Dang-2 to Krishna Bahadur Mahara during the election coordination with the Maoist Center in the previous election. But now Rekha Sharma of Maoist Center is competing with Pokhrel. Former party colleague Raju Gurung is a candidate from CPN (Unified Socialist) against UML Vice-chairman Bishnu Paudel. UML's former deputy general secretary Ghanshyam Bhusal has become a candidate with the support of the NC-Maoist Center alliance against his former party colleague Chhabi Lal Bishwakarma. Balkrishna Khand, NC Central Member and Home Minister, who left his constituency by staying proportionally for RPP's Deepak Bohora in the previous election, is now in the electoral competition with him.

Similarly, in the 2017 elections, NC leader Mahalaxmi Upadhyay left Makwanpur-1 and contested from constituency number 2 of the district to help the then RPP chairman Kamal Thapa. But now Thapa and Upadhyay are in competition. Thapa has become a candidate from Makwanpur-1 with the help and support of UML. RPP's Deepak Bahadur Singh has also challenged his former chairman Thapa.

A similar competition is going on between Rajendra Mahato and Mahendra Yadav in Sarlahi-2. There is a competition between these two leaders who have previously worked in the same party, and on the issue of Madhesh.

Rajendra Pandey and Bhumi Tripathi are competing in Dhading-1. Tripathi and Pandey, who have worked together in the UML for a long time, are facing each other in the elections this time. In the previous election, after UML Chairperson KP Sharma Oli appointed Tripathi as a member of the House of Representatives, Pandey became a member of the Provincial Assembly. Pandey, who is now the vice-chairman of CPN (Unified Socialist), which was formed after splitting from the UML, has sided with NC, the main rival of the previous election, against his former colleague Tripathi. NC's Madhukumar Shrestha, who was defeated in the Provincial Assembly election by Pandey in the 2017 election, has now become his supporter.

Former colleague Mahesh Basnet of UML is competing against CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Jhalanath Khanal, who is contesting the election for the seventh time. Voters say that there will be stiff competition between Khanal, who is a former chairman of the CPN-UML, and Basnet of UML in Ilam 2. In Jhapa-2, UML standing committee member Devraj Ghimire and Harikumar Rana, who entered the Maoist Center from UML before the elections, are in the fray. In Gulmi-2, Ram Kumari Jhankri of CPN (Unified Socialist) and Gokarna Bista of UML are in fierce competition. Both are former colleagues.

Similarly, UML's Shiva Sundar Raj Vaidya and Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Somprasad Pandey and Thakur Gaire, Birodh Khatiwada and Mahesh Bartaula, Krishnalal Maharjan and Premlal Maharjan, Bidya Bhattarai and Shreenath Baral, Shanta Chaudhary and Metmani Chaudhary, Rabindra Raj Sharma and Amar Bahadur Thapa, Dhan Bahadur Budha and Ganesh Bahadur Shahi, Bhanu Bhakta Joshi and Ain Mahar, Prem Ale and Gauri Wali, Jagannath Khatiwada and Amar Bahadur Rayamajhi are now in the competition. All these leaders were earlier colleagues in UML. After the split of UML, Shrestha, Pandey, Khatiwada, Premlal, Baral, Metmani, Thapa, Budha, Joshi, Ale and Jagannath joined the CPN (Unified Socialist).



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