KATHMANDU, May 19: CPN-UML candidate Devi Gyawali is still maintaining lead with 203 votes in the race for the mayoral post of Bharatpur Metropolitan City (BMC).
After the vote counting of eight wards was over, UML candidate Gyawali has secured 13, 635 votes while Maoist Center’s candidate Renu Dahal is following him with 13, 432 votes.
Similarly, for the deputy mayoral post, Nepali Congress's candidate Parbati Shah is leading with 3,786 votes against her immediate rival of CPN-UML. Shah has secured 15, 523 votes while her immediate UML candidate Dibya Sharma has received 11, 737 votes. There are 29 wards in BMC.
Media persons briefly staged demonstration in front of Covered Hall of BMC after the election officials involved in vote counting denied them access to election updates from 9 am until 5 pm yesterday.
According to the returning officer, the vote counting was delayed due to row that cropped up after the NC Ward No. 4 candidate lost election to UML candidate Hari Prasad Sharma by seven votes.
Sharma has won the ward elections securing 1,720 votes while his rival NC’s candidate got only 1,713 votes.
Of the total 152, 000 votes, 112,000 votes were cast in the local level polls held on May 14.
With the vote counting of eight wards completed, over 30,000 ballots have been counted. According to our Chitwan district reporter Ramesh Kumar Paudel, a mayoral candidate has to secure 45,000 to 50,000 votes to win the elections.
It is learnt that a lot of ballots are likely to be invalid as the electoral symbol of NC for which no candidates have fielded are found marked.
People in general are watching Bharatpur Metropolitan City elections curiously as the NC and Maoist Center have forged an electoral allaince to contest the mayoral elections of the metropolis.
(With inputs from district reporter Ramesh Kumar Paudel)