BAJHANG, Nov 15: Former Bajhang district president of Nepali Congress (NC), Prithivi Bahadur Singh, is contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections from the only constituency of Bajhang district. His main rival in the polls is Bhairav Bahadur Singh, an alternate central member of CPN-UML. A tough competition is expected between them in the elections slated for November 26.
Left alliance candidate Bhairav is a former general manager of Timber Corporation of Nepal. Bhairav has been involved in politics since his student years. He was a candidate in the 1991 parliamentary elections and the elections of 1994, but he was defeated by NC candidates.
However, Bhairav is considered a strong candidate of the left alliance in the upcoming election.
NC's Prithivi is an advocate by profession. He had also started his political career as a student and was chairman of the then Luyata Village Development Committee in 1992. He later went on to become district secretary of NC for two terms, and is now a member of the central committee.
“My candidacy is for institutionalizing democracy and for the development of Bajhang,” he said. Prithivi is known for his connection with commoners.
For the provincial elections, NC has fielded Chandra Joshi in constituency 1 (a). She is a former Member of Parliament from the party under the Proportional Representation (PR) category. She also went on to become the district president of NC's Women Association.
Joshi's husband was killed by the Maoists during the decade-long bloody insurgency period. She is also known for keeping in touch with commoners.
The left alliance has fielded Arjun Bahadur Thapa from constituency 1 (a). He is a former teacher. He is UML's former district chairman and also held various other positions in the party.
Thapa also contested the 1999 elections as a candidate for parliament. However, he was defeated by NC candidate Arjun Jung Bahadur Singh. He is said to be close to UML leader Bhim Rawal.
Former Maoist rebel Devaki Malla of the Maoist Center is contesting the polls from constituency 1 (b). Her main rival is former minister for Youth and Sports, Naresh Bahadur Singh, representing the 'democratic' alliance. Both of them are considered influential leaders. A fierce competition is expected between them.
Malla previously held the position of central vice-chair at All Nepal Women's Association (Revolutionary). She is also a central member of the Maoist Center.
NC candidate Singh is a former president of Nepal Student Union. He is also a former state minister. He is known for his willingness to mobilize youths and is considered an influential leader in his area.
The district has six rural municipalities and one municipality. The district is known to have a strong influence of the left alliance. There are 157 polling booths in the district. Six political parties are contesting the upcoming elections in the district.