KATHMANDU, June 23: With the election silence just four days away, leaders of major political parties have left the capital to participate in election campaigns in Province 1, 5 and 7. The second phase of the local elections is scheduled for June 28.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is scheduled to leave the capital to cast vote in his home district of Dadeldhura. Other senior leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) have been busy in election rallies outside Kathmandu since earlier this week. NC senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel is busy in campaigns in Province 5 and is scheduled to return to Kathmandu only after the June 28 polls. Leader Krishna Sitaula, Prakash Man Singh and Bimalendra Nidhi have been visiting various districts in Province 1. “As the campaign will end after June 25, most of the leaders of our party are busy campaigning in three provinces,” said NC Chief Secretary Krishna Paudel.
Senior leaders of the main opposition CPN-UML have also left the Kathmandu Valley for election campaign in the three provinces. UML Chairman K P Oli returned to Kathmandu on Thursday after addressing 20 election campaigns in four days. Oli is heading for Biratnagar on Friday again and will return to Kathmandu after election silence starts, according to UML publicity department member Bishnu Rijal. Oli has already cast vote from Bhaktapur district in the first phase of the local elections on May 14.
UML vice chairs Bamdev Gautam and Bhim Rawal are in Province 5 and 7 respectively since the last few days. General Secretary Ishwar Pokhrel and leader Subas Nembang are visiting districts in the eastern region. According to Rijal most of the senior leaders of the party are outside Kathmandu since the past few days.
CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal attended seven rallies on Thursday in Province 5 and 7, and is scheduled to return to Kathmandu on Friday. According to party spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, Dahal is scheduled to visit eastern districts. Dahal had cast vote from Chitwan in first phase of local elections on May 14.
Other Maoist Center leaders have been also assigned to visit the districts. Maoist senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha is campaigning in the hills in the eastern region. Senior leaders Ram Bahadur Thapa and Dev Gurung are also busy in Province 1, according to the party. Shakti Basnet and other senior leaders are campaigning in Province 7.
Rstriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Chairman Kamal Thapa was busy in Province 1 and is scheduled to visit Province 5 and 7 before the election silence begins, according to RPP leader Rajaram Bartaula. Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) Chairman Upendra Yadav and senior leader Ashok Rai have expedited election campaigns in Province 1. Yadav is scheduled to return to Kathmandu only after the polls.
Even leaders of new political parties, Sajha Party and Bibeksheel Nepali Party have been campaigning in various districts outside Kathmandu.