Over 4,700 candidates are vying for 128 federal constituencies in 45 districts in the second phase of election scheduled for December 7.
This election will be interesting due to alliances between different parties like that of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center), Nepali Congress (NC) and RPP, and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP). We list 15 constituencies that will see interesting face-offs in the second phase of elections.
- Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Bikram Pandey
Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will contest in Chitwan-3, a new constituency for him, from the left alliance. His daughter was elected mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, that falls in the constituency, with support of NC in the local election.
Forest Minister Bikram Pandey is contesting the constituency on a RPP ticket with support of NC this time. He had won from Chitwan-5 in the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election in 2013.
NC is strong here but the joint vote of UML and Maoist Center is also big.
The constituency will be interesting due to these two candidates.
- Bimalendra Nidhi and Rajendra Mahato
NC and RJP were involved in negotiations for alliance until a day before filing of nominations but to no avail. Mahato has publicly claimed that the alliance between RJP and NC could not materialize due to Nidhi. The two will now compete in Dhanusha-3.
Dhanusha is an NC stronghold. RJP also has good presence in Janakpur that was at the center of Madhes Movement.
- Prakash Sharan Mahat and Ishwor Pokharel
Kathmandu-5 had seen a close fight in the second CA election. NC’s Narahari Acharya had eventually defeated UML’s Pokharel by around 1,000 votes.
Mahat is contesting in place of Acharya this time while UML has fielded Pokharel once again.
- Krishna Sitaula and Rajendra Lingden
NC and RPP, that have forged an alliance elsewhere, are competing in Jhapa-3.
Former general secretary of NC Sitaula and RPP General Secretary Lingden are contesting in the election as they did in the second CA election. Sitaula had won then by a very thin margin. But RPP has won two rural municipalities in the constituency in the recent local election.
- Gagan Thapa and Rajan Bhattarai
NC had won Kathmandu-4 in both the CA elections with Thapa winning the second one by over 13,000 votes. But UML’s Bhattarai will also receive Maoist votes this time. The left alliance had received more votes than NC at the ward level in the constituency in the local election.
The race, therefore, will be interesting this time.
- Shekhar Koirala and Lal Babu Pandit
The Koirala family has a special place in NC that was founded by BP Koirala. Shekhar Koirala has that family legacy. He had defeated Vijay Kumar Gachchhadar, who was with Forum Democratic then, from Morang-7 in the second CA election.
Gachchhadar has now returned to NC making the party stronger in Morang-6 after review of constituencies this time.
Pandit, who was general administration minister in the Sushil Koirala government, had earned plaudits by adopting the policy of firing civil servants who have received permanent residency of other countries.
- Yagya Bahadur Thapa and Khaga Raj Adhikari
Law Minister Thapa and former health minister Adhikari are contesting from Kaski-1. Thapa had defeated Adhikari in the second CA election. Adhikari had lost even in the first CA election.
It will be interesting to see if Adhikari will win for the first time or will make a hat trick of losses.
- Prakash Man Singh and Rabindra Mishra
Bibeksheel Sajha’s Rabindra Mishra is contesting from Kathmandu-1 this time. Former NC general secretary had won in both the CA elections in the constituency considered NC’s stronghold.
Mayoral candidates of Bibeksheel and Sajha parties, that were not united during the local election, had received almost equal votes to that received by NC and UML in the constituency. Chances of the left alliance winning in the constituency look slim even considering the votes secured by both UML and Maoist Center in the local election.
Many are interested to see how many NC votes Bibeksheel Sajha can get this time in the constituency where both Bibeksheel and Sajha parties had taken away a significant number of NC votes in the local election.
The fight between Mishra, who has earned fame as a journalist, and an influential NC leader will be interesting.
- Chandra Bhandari and Pradeep Gyawali
NC’s Bhandari had defeated UML’s Gyawali in the second CA election in Gulmi-2. They will face off again this time.
Gyawali is one of the most influential and respected UML leaders. Winning this election will, therefore, be a matter of pride for him. Whether he will be able to exact revenge on Bhandari this time will draw attention of many.
- Ram Karki and Bishwa Prakash Sharma
The left alliance has fielded former information and communication minister Karki from Jhapa-1 where NC’s youth leader Sharma is also contesting. Sharma had lost the second CA election to a UML candidate by a few hundred votes from this area.
He has started campaigning immediately after announcement of this election. NC had also won in Mechinagar municipality that falls in Jhapa-1.
- Subash Nembang and Keshav Thapa
Former CA chairman and UM L leader Nembang had won from Ilam-3 and NC’s Thapa from Ilam-2 in the second CA election. They both are now contesting from Ilam-2 with the district getting just two seats.
- Pradeep Giri and Suresh Chandra Das
NC leader Giri, who was elected in both the CA elections on Proportional Representation (PR) system, is contesting from Siraha-1 this time. He had won in the mid-term poll in 1995 but had lost in the following general election.
- Nava Raj Silwal and Uday Shumsher Rana
Silwal, who resigned from the post of DIG of Nepal Police, is contesting from Lalitpur-1 on a UML ticket. He will fight with NC’s Rana, a former Tarun Dal chairman, who had won from this constituency in the second CA election.
- Ghanashyam Bhusal and Deepak Bohara
Deputy general secretary of UML Bhusal had lost to Bal Krishna Khand of NC by a thin margin from Rupandehi-3 in the second CA election.
He will now face RPP leader and Health Minister Bohara, who had won from Rupandehi-1 in the second CA election, in Rupandehi-3. NC will support Bohara in this election to make it a close fight.
- Arzoo Rana Deuba and Narad Muni Rana Tharu
NC’s Arzoo Rana Deuba, who was elected CA member in the second CA election on PR system, is contesting from Kailali-5 this time.
The left alliance has fielded UML’s Tharu against the wife of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba this time in the constituency that includes some parts of Kailali-6 where PM Deuba had won in the second CA election.