In a setback for India, the Nepali Congress seemed to suffer heavy losses in the initial counting of votes in Nepal for federal and provincial assemblies. The communist alliance backed by China was leading in over two-thirds of seats.
According to a news published in The Times of India, the opposition CPN-UML won a maximum number of seats until late Friday with ally CPN-Maoist Centre at second place. The pro-India Nepali Congress was at a distant third. The Left Alliance is leading in most seats where elections were held in the first phase. Indian government officials did not comment on the initial trends saying they would wait for the final outcome.
The CPN-UML is led by K P Oli who is known to be extremely close to the Chinese leadership and who has often in the past made his disdain for India obvious. As PM, Oli had gone out of his way to undercut India's traditional influence in Nepal by aggressively courting China. In a surprise move, CPN-Maoist Centre, pulling out of the Sher Bahadur Deuba government, had on October 3 announced an alliance with the country's largest communist bloc CPN-UML, ahead of the elections. First phase poll was held in 32 districts for 37 seats in House of Representatives, the Kathmandu Post said. Out of these, it said, the left alliance was in the lead in 29 constituencies and Nepali Congress in only four constituencies.
Another Indian online Scroll.in writes Communist parties on course for victory in Nepal elections and the ruling Nepali Congress, which has close ties with India, looks set to lose the polls.
While the counting of votes is still underway across the country, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), as of 5 pm Indian Standard Time, has won 25 seats and leading in 56 in the parliamentary elections. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) is second with 12 victories and a lead in 21 seats.
The results have come as a shock to the ruling Nepali Congress, which has won only six seats till now. Several major party leaders lost the election in their constituencies, including Minister for Information and Communication Mohan Basnet. If the current trend continues, the party will suffer its worst electoral defeat in parliamentary polls since 1990, The Kathmandu Post reported.
The alliance of the Left parties also outperformed the Nepali Congress – which traditionally has had close ties with India – in the Provincial Assembly election. The alliance is doing so well was because their votes were not divided as was the case in past elections, Sudheer Sharma, the editor of Kantipur newspaper, was quoted as saying by AP.
In Nepal’s Province No 2, which is close to the Indian border, the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, two Madhesi-based parties, were leading in seven seats each while the Nepali Congress was leading in nine.