ROLPA, Nov 1: No other political party except the CPN (Maoist Center) has won the parliamentary polls from Rolpa, the cradle of Nepali Maoist movement after the Maoist party joined peaceful politics in 2006 and started contesting polls.
Maoist candidates emerged victorious in the past two elections - Constituent Assembly (CA) election in 2008 and 2013 - from both constituencies of the district. People's representatives from the district have risen to key positions including the Speaker of parliament and finance minister and ministers.
After state restructuring, the two constituencies in the district were merged into one. Former finance minister Barshaman Pun of the Maoist Center and the incumbent state minister for irrigation, Amar Singh Pun of the Nepali Congress (NC) are contesting the parliamentary elections from the only constituency of the district.
With the NC securing a remarkable number of votes in the recently held local polls in the district and the Maoist party splitting into different forces, the CPN (Maoist Center) has to struggle to protect its legacy in the district in the November 26 parliamentary polls. Maoist Center candidates failed to get elected in three of the total 10 local units in the district in the local polls.
With the NC trying to revive its hold in the district, the Maoist party faces a challenge to protect its legacy in the cradle of the Maoist insurgency. Locals say there could be a tough competition between the Maoist Center and NC and neither of the two parties is assured of victory in the district in upcoming polls.
Leftist candidates had won from both constituencies of the district in the first parliamentary polls held after the political change of 1990. But pro-royalist Rastriya Prajatantra Party and NC won from constituency 1 and 2 respectively in the mid-term elections three years later.
Further strengthening the party's hold in the district, NC candidates emerged victorious from both constituencies in the district in the parliamentary polls of 1999. The Maoists had already launched their decade-long war against the state from Rolpa in 1996.
Most of the locals remained sympathetic to the Maoist party and its agenda and many Rolpa residents joined the party as well in the decade-long war. As a result, Rolpa elected Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the first post-war poll in 2008 after the Maoist joining peaceful politics following the 12-point peace deal. The district also elected Maoist women leader Jayapuri Gharti from constituency-2 in the same poll.
Maoist voters in the district became irked with Maoist Chairman Dahal when he quit the constituency after winning from two constituencies in the election. But the cradle of the Maoist movement voted for Maoist candidates again in the CA polls in 2013. Former Speaker Onsari Gharti and Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara were elected from the district in the poll.