KATHMANDU, Dec 4: Even though old faces always seem to dominate the election nominations, many fresh faces have dared to challenge such seasoned candidates by filing their candidacies in the local as well as parliamentary and provincial polls this year. The efforts made by these new faces to beat their strong rivals have paved the way for an interesting electoral battle.
Ranju Darshana, Bibeksheel Party's mayoral candidate in the recently concluded local elections stole the limelight by being the youngest mayoral candidate in the Nepali history. Bibeksheel has once again nominated a young candidate for the provincial elections in Lalitpur. Twenty-five years old Suresh Raj Shakya of Bibeksheel Sajha will be vying in the provincial elections from constituency no.3 (b) of the district.
According to him, experience without expertise and knowledge is of no use. "Our country needs enthusiastic young leaders who can change the fate of the country and its people," he said. Shakya who is a pharmacist by profession joined Bibeksheel after the catastrophic earthquake of 2015. Also a social worker, Shakya said, "Politics for me has never been a profession; it's a social service and will always be so."
On the other hand, the left alliance has fielded senior leader of CPN-UML, Jeewan Khadka, in the same constituency. Khadka has been in the mainstream politics since 1978. However, he was active in student politics a decade before that. He has been known for playing a pivotal role in mass movements.
In the parliamentary elections of 1991, Nepali Congress (NC)'s Shiva Ram Baniya defeated him by a small margin of votes. Khadka and Baniya are up for the battle once again in the elections slated for December 7. Locals are keenly waiting to see who will win this time. "I know the people will vote for me because they know me well and are aware that I can never lead them astray," Khadka claimed.
Likewise, NC has fielded senior leader of the party Shiva Ram Baniya for the post. As told by Baniya, he decided to vie in the elections as per the request of the people. "I have always respected the decision of public and will continue to do so even in the future," he said. The day for election is just around the corner and Baniya too is about to conclude his door to door campaign.
When asked what has been the common demand of the people he said, "A lot of people, especially the youths, have demanded employment opportunities. So, solving this problem will be my main objective after elections," he assured. He claims that people still remember him for his good performance as a ward chief after 1991 elections. "That earned me the recognition of a responsible person and that too will help me earn votes this time," he added.
All the candidates have prioritized educational development, cultural promotion, pollution management and reconstruction in their election agendas. There are altogether three constituencies for the parliamentary and six for the provincial elections in Lalitpur.