BIRATNAGAR, Oct 8: With the local elections now successfully concluded, the country's attention has shifted towards the parliamentary and provincial elections which will be held simultaneously in two phases on November 26 and December 7.
The rush and enthusiasm for the elections has been observed in various eastern districts as well. There are a number of aspirants in Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center), CPN-UML and other parties waiting to get election tickets from their respective parties. However, most of the aspirants are old faces who competed in the previous elections.
In Morang district, intra-party competition for tickets is especially fierce in the NC and UML. The number of aspirants is high in the ruling NC. With as many as 56 aspirants from a single constituency, NC's district committee has an overwhelming task of picking three candidates from each constituency and submitting their names to the party's central committee.
Due to the overwhelming number of aspiring candidates, the party's district committee is preparing to submit the list of all aspirants and leave it to the central committee to decide, said Modraj Ghimire, NC's Morang district secretary.
Although NC's district committee had prepared to recommend the names of candidates for all the six constituencies to the central committee by Friday evening, it hasn't been done even as of Saturday evening. Likewise, the district committee of the CPN-UML which recently decided to form a poll alliance with the CPN (Maoist Center) has not been able to recommend the names of the party's candidates to its central committee.
Binod Dhakal, Morang chief of UML, said they are working to finalize the party's candidates by Saturday. The UML has already selected lawmaker Rishikesh Pokharel for constituency no. 2. However, the party's district committee is still struggling to select the candidacies for other constituencies as the number of aspirants is high.
The agreement for poll alliance and eventual party unification between UML and Maoist Center has created confusion among the cadres. The central committee of the CPN (Maoist Center) had approved the candidacy for each constituency of the district even before the recent decision to form the poll alliance with UML.
However, now the cadres of both parties are anxious to know which party candidate would be picked in each constituency. UML district chief Dhakal said both parties are mentally prepared to withdraw candidacy if the candidate is picked from the other party.
The number of aspirants is higher for the provincial elections than the parliamentary elections. Many aspirants have already started asking for votes and support through the social media.
Old faces are preparing to contest the elections in Jhapa district as well. Among such leaders are UML chair KP Oli (constituency no. 5) and NC leader Krishna Prasad Situala (constituency no. 3).
Likewise, in Sunsari district, familiar names such as NC leader Min Biswakarma from constituency no. 1, Finance Minister Gyanendra Karki from constituency no. 4, UML leader Bhim Aryal from constituency no. 1, among others, have been confirmed to vie in the elections. Similarly, Nepal Loktantrik Forum Chair Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, who also won the Constituent Assembly election 2013, is again contesting the polls from constituency no. 3.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party said it would finalize its candidates by Sunday.