KATHMANDU, Nov 3: Over a dozen parliamentary constituencies are set to witness fierce poll battles, as central level leaders of some influence and stature have filed their candidacies from rival alliances and parties.
Rebel candidates of the same party have made the poll results further uncertain in a number of constituencies where top leaders are contesting the upcoming parliamentary polls.
CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been challenged by Forest and Soil Conversation Minister Bikram Pandey in Chitwan-3. Chitwan will be a new constituency for Dahal, but construction and media entrepreneur Pandey was elected from the same area in the last election.
Nepali Congress (NC) influential leader Bimalendra Nidhi and former home minister and member of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) Presidium Rajendra Mahato are facing each other in Dhanusha-3. Mahato is challenging Nidhi in his home district, which RJPN and NC both claim as their stronghold.
With the decision of the CPN-UML-Maoist alliance to support Rajendra Lingden of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, former home minister Krishna Sitaula is in trouble is his home constituency of Jhapa-3. UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokhrel is contesting against former foreign minister of NC Prakash Saran Mahat in Kathmandu-5.
Kathmandu constituency -1 will see an interesting race between former deputy prime minister and dominant NC leader Prakashman Singh and noted journalist-turned-politician Rabindra Mishra of Bibeksheel Sajha Party. Mishra is expected to pose a challenge to Singh's iron grip in the constituency from where he was elected in two consecutive polls.
Voters in Morang-6 are at a crossroads. They need to choose between former general administration minister Lal Babu Pandit, who earned huge respect for barring government staff from holding DV/PRs, and NC leader Shekhar Koirala.
The race between former DPM and UML Vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam and Irrigation Minister Sanjay Kumar Gautam in Bardiya-1 is being considered interesting as the two are both locally influential leaders.
Two youth leaders, Gagan Thapa of NC and Rajan Bhattarai of UML, are in another race to watch, in Kathmandu-4. Upbeat over the vote for UML in recently held local polls in the area, Bhattarai is challenging former health minister Thapa in the latter's constituency.
Long-time rivals Pradeep Gyawali of UML and Chandra Bhandari of NC are to face off in Gulmi-1 for a fourth successive time since 1999. Bhandari had defeated UML Secretary Gyawali in the 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) election after being defeated by the later in two previous polls.
Former forest minister and influential Maoist Center leader Matrika Yadav is facing another influential NC leader, Ananda Dhungana, in Dhanusha-1. Likewise, former information and communications minister Surendra (Ram) Karki of the Maoists is being challenged by NC youth leader of local renown Bishwaprakash Sharma.
The race between former House speaker Daman Nath Dhungana of NC and former industry minister and youth leader Mahesh Basnet in Bhaktapur-2 is also being seen as exciting. Cop turned politician Nawaraj Silwal of UML is posing a challenge to NC youth leader and state minister for finance Uday Samser Rana in his political base of Lalitpur-1.
Chairman of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Upendra Yadav is contesting against Maoist former irrigation minister Umesh Yadav in Saptari-2. The constituency where Umesh had emerged victorious in the last poll is new for former DPM and foreign minister Yadav.
Siraha-4 is witnessing a trilateral race between three former ministers. Maoist leader and former law minister Ajay Shankar Nayak, former environment minister Biswendra Paswan of Bahujan Shakti Party and former information and communications minister and member of RJPN Presidium Raj Kishor Yadav are in the three-way race.
Another RJPN presidium member, Sarat Singh Bhandari, and Kiran Yadav of NC are in the poll fray from Mahottari-2. Also, former local development minister Ram Chandra Jha of the Maoists and Ram Krishna Yadav of NC have filed candidacy from the same constituency of Dhanusha-2.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal Vs Bikram Pandey
Bimalendra Nidhi Vs Rajendra Mahato
Krishna Sitaula Vs Rajendra Lingden
Ishwar Pokhrel Vs Prakash Saran Mahat
Prakashman Singh Vs Rabindra Mishra
Sekhar Koirala Vs Lalbabu Pandit
Bamdev Gautam Vs Sanjay Gautam
Matrika Yadav Vs Ananda Dhungana
Gagan Thapa Vs Rajan Bhattarai
Pradeep Gyawali Vs Chandra Bhandari
Surendra (Ram) Karki Vs Bishwaprakash Sharma
Daman Nath Dhungana Vs Mahesh Basnet
Nawaraj Silwal Vs Uday Samser Rana
Anil Jha Vs Baban Singh:
Upendra Yadav Vs Umesh Yadav
Ajay Shankar Nayak-Biswendra Paswan-Raj Kishor Yadav
Sarat Singh Bhandari Vs Kiran Yadav
Ram Chandra Jha Vs Ram Krishna Yadav