DANG, Nov 10: Reinforced with the backing of CPN-UML, Krishna Bahadur Mahara of CPN (Maoist Center) registered his candidacy for the parliamentary polls from constituency 2 of Dang district on Thursday.
With the formidable strength of the left alliance to support him, Mahara has set his eyes on the victory for the second time.
His first victory was in the first Constituent Assembly (CA) elections of 2008. At that time, he was elected from the then constituency 3, which is now a part of constituency 2.
On the other side, Raju Khanal of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) stands in the path of Mahara's victory. He too is looking to repeat his victory. He was elected as a member of the second CA in 2013. Both the influential leaders are mulling strategies to repeat the glory. But only one will succeed.
Such neck-to-neck contest is not only between Mahara and Khanal. Many of the candidates here are looking to win elections for the second time. UML leader Shankar Pokharel is another such candidate.
Pokharel was elected as a parliamentarian in 1994 elections. He actually competed with Mahara for left alliance's candidacy from constituency-2, but eventually gave up the race under pressure from UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli.
Pokharel then agreed to be a provincial candidate and is contesting from constituency 2 (a). His sight is fixated on securing election glory after 23 long years of wait.
Not just that, Pokharel is also looking to avenge his loss in 2013 CA election, which he lost against NC leader Buddhi Ram Bhandari from the then constituency 4. His current main opponent is NC former district secretary Kishor Ghimire.
Likewise, left alliance candidate Indra Jeet Tharu of the Maoist Center is another character looking to repeat history. He had won the 2013 CA election from constituency 1. He is contesting in the provincial elections from constituency 1 (a). Pradeep Thapa of NC is his main opponent.
This election also has provided the opportunity to repeat victory to Sushila Chaudhary of NC, who had previously won in the second CA elections from the then constituency 2. She is contesting from constituency 1 against Metmani Chaudhary of UML.
Former Irrigation Minister Deepak Giri of NC had won impressively from the then constituency 5 in the second CA elections. He is contesting in the parliamentary elections from the same area, which is now constituency 3.
Giri is an influential leader in this area with a strong support base. He too wants to repeat his election victory. His main opponent is UML district secretary Hira Chandra KC.
The seventh in the list is former parliamentarian Kuber Oli, who is contesting in provincial elections from constituency 3 (a). He is a rebel candidate of the Maoist Center, who filed his independent candidacy against the party's official candidate for the area Jag Prasad Sharma. Oli was elected parliamentarian in the first CA elections.