JHAPA, Oct 11: Pre-poll alliances between various political parties have forced many of the influential leaders out of the nomination race to contest the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections in Jhapa district - home to some of the influential leaders of the country's three big political parties.
The recent electoral pact and prospect of eventual party unification between CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) have put the leftist alliance in a fix to field candidates for the elections in the district.
Given the circumstance, many influential leaders of both the parties in various constituencies of the district have been left out in the election ticket distribution due to the pre-poll alliance between the two parties. Many leaders who had won the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections have been left out of the candidate nomination race for the upcoming elections.
Following the alliance formation, the Maoist Center has demanded two seats in the district, while the UML is adamant on giving them only one seat. In this situation, the CPN (Maoist Center) plans to secure either constituency no. 2 or constituency no. 5. If the party gets constituency no. 2, it is preparing to field Ram Karki. And if constituency no. 5 is agreed upon, the Maoist Center will give the election ticket to the party's central committee member Jhalak Singh Darlami.
Likewise, Krishna Prasad Situala, an influential leader of the Nepali Congress (NC), has agreed not to contest under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system from Jhapa constituency no. 3 to pave the way for the candidacy of his party's electoral alliance Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), according to high-level sources of both the parties. NC is supporting RPP General Secretary Rajendra Lingden this time.
“An agreement has been reached between our parties to let Situala contest under the proportional representation (PR) category while supporting RPP to contest under the FPTP category,” said a high-level source at RPP, on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media until the decision is made public officially.
Similarly, three UML leaders with proven election track records have also been sidelined in the name of electoral alliance.
The party's influential leader Deepak Karki, who has won multiple elections, has been sidelined after UML Chair KP Oli was confirmed to contest from the same constituency. Likewise, UML leaders Rabin Koirala and Prem Giri, who had won previous elections, have also been sidelined this time.