DHANGADHI, Oct 11: The possibility of a second-rung leader becoming the chief minister of Province 7 has come closer to reality after the established 'heavyweight' leaders of the major political parties chose to contest the parliamentary elections.
Established leaders of Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) from Province 7 have expressed their interest to contest the parliamentary elections. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba, UML Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal and Maoist Center's Lekh Raj Bhatta are considered the senior leaders in the province. None of them are vying for the position of chief minister in the upcoming elections.
UML's Rawal has been recommended to contest from Achham constituency no. 1 in the upcoming parliamentary elections. His name also has been recommended from Kailali constituency no. 3. However, he is set to contest from Accham.
“Rawal will contest for the membership of parliament as he can play an important role in central politics,” a UML leader said.
Likewise, Maoist Center leader Lekh Raj Bhatta has expressed his interest to compete in the parliamentary election. “New faces will contest the provincial elections. I wish to compete in the parliamentary elections,” said Bhatta.
Another established leader from Maoist Center, Khag Raj Bhatta, who was previously speculated to contest the provincial polls, has now been recommended to contest the parliamentary elections from Dadeldhura, according to the party's politburo member Birbhan Chaudhary.
“As all the established leaders have shown interest in the parliamentary elections, we have not yet decided the candidates for the provincial polls. But the new generation of leaders will be nominated to vie for the position of chief minister,” he added.
NC's established leaders including central committee member Ramesh Lekhak, who was previously speculated to vie for the post of chief minister of the province, has now been recommended to compete in the parliamentary elections from Kanchanpur constituency no. 3. Likewise, another central committee member LP Sabad has been recommended to vie in the parliamentary election from constituency no. 2, according to NC's Kanchanpur district president Hari Bohara. He said the party's candidate for the post of chief minister has not been decided yet.
Other NC leaders in the province, including central committee member Bir Bahadur Bayal, Dilendra Badu, and Bidur Pandey have also been recommended for parliamentary elections.
“It is a positive sign to see fresh faces in the provincial elections. Youth leaders can definitely play a positive role,” said Dharma Dev Bhatta, chief of Aishwarya Multiple Campus. “Their energy, vigor and talent can aid the development process,” he added.
The Constituency Delineation Commission has fixed 16 seats for parliamentary elections and 32 seats for provincial assembly elections in Province 7.