By Elections New Parties Take on Established Parties

While Dr. Swarnim and Upendra Yadav face off, Rabi is in a comfortable position

April 20, 2023, 8:10 p.m.

Political observers believe that the advantages of Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane in Chitwan Constituency No. 2 remain unaffected despite addresses from four influential members of the ruling alliance, including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" and three former PMs.

Despite being a powerful politician, Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) Chairman Upendra Yadav is competing against Shivachandra Kushwaha of the Janamat Party, who recently left the Maoist Center.

CPN UML leader Purushottam Paudel and Ramesh Kharel from Rastriya Swatantra Party have also register their nomination for the by-election. However, CPN-UML’s candidate Paudel is rallying behind.

Tanahu-2 is another hotspot for by elections. NC candidate Govinda Bhattarai, Rastriya Swatantra Party candidate Dr. Swarnim Wagle and CPN-UML candidate former police Chief Sharbendranath Khanal are neck to neck in the elections.

Nepali Congress Party is putting all its efforts focusing on Tanahu to elect its candidate Bhattarai, who has been in NC for almost 30 years. Known as a political base of Nepali Congress, Tanahu-2 is difficult to predict given the current situation.

The elections of Dr. Wagle, who quit Nepali Congress, last month, will be determined by how many votes he can secured from CPN-UML candidate Sharbendra Khanal.

The main challenge for Nepali Congress candidate Bhattarai is former leader of the party Govinda Raj Joshi, whose son Dipak Raj Joshi has been supporting Dr. Wagle in the polls.

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Political analysts believe that Dr. Wagle, a well-known newcomer, will win over many Nepali Congress voters. However, his ability to win over the traditional vote bases of the UML will be crucial to his success.

Currently, Dr. Wagle, the leader of the Swantraparty, and Bhattarai, a candidate for the Nepali Congress, are competing.

Because the by-elections, which are set for April 23 in all three constituencies, are like referendums and prestige concerns for both old and new political parties, every effort has been made to win over people.

Political parties are employing every strategy available to them, excluding social media advertising, to outgun their opponents.

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Even though there have been numerous attempts to undermine Lamichhane, the candidates from the ruling party and the CPN-UML are both significantly behind Lamichhane.

If the Left-NC candidate Jit Narayan Shrestha won the Chitwan constituency 2 election, Prime Minister Prachanda vowed to bring all development initiatives to Chitwan.

Even though Dr. Shekhar Koirala and other top members of the Nepali Congress were there, the mass gathering was unable to significantly lower Lamichhane's fever.

According to local political analysts, Lamichhane's populist wave from the previous election has not much changed. Jagnath Poudyal, a former ex-leader of the Nepali Congress, argued that since the CPN-UML and other established political parties had done nothing for their supporters, they would naturally support Lamichhane. People no longer trust the conventional political parties, at least in Chitwean.

Lamichhane's fans have consistently supported him since the day of the rally and election campaign. Ram Prasad Neupane, a candidate for the CPN-UML, is attempting to win back the elections while running on the platform of senior young leaders.

"Out candidate will defeat Lamichhane and the NC candidate in the polls. Gokul Baskota, the leader of the CPN-UML, said, "I am certain of it.

The left-democratic alliance organized the electoral gathering, which was held in East Chitwan's Kalika Municipality-4 and was focused on the by-election scheduled for April 23.

Speakers during the gathering included Prime Minister Dahal, former Prime Ministers, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN (Unified Socialist) Chair Madhav Kumar Nepal, and Janata Samajwadi Chair Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.

Likewise, NC leaders Bishwo Prakash Sharma and Dr. Shekhar Koirala spoke to the crowd.

The elections will be won by our candidate. The event marks a turning point, according to Surya Aryal, Chitwan's secretary of the Nepali Congress.

Candidates from all three of the established political parties are up against stiff opposition as the by-elections in three constituencies get near.

Two traditional parties are facing a severe battle from the candidate of the Rastriya Swantra Party, led by Rabi Lamichhane, and Upendra Yadav and his Sanghiya Samajbadi Party are facing a tough challenge from the Janmat Party, led by CK Raut.

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President Four candidates have registered their nomination in Bara-2 after watching the elections and reporting from the constituencies.

Ram Sahay Yadav, who was just elected vice president, won the representative and provincial assembly elections on November 20 while running as a candidate for the JSP. Yadav received 13,822 votes, while Shiva Chandra Prasad Kushwaha of the Maoist Center received 13,468 votes, making Yadav the winner.

After Upendra Yadav was backed by the Maoist Center, Shiva Chandra made the decision to leave the Maoist Center and run for office as a Janamat Party candidate.

The results of the by-election will be a prestige issue for both established and emerging political parties, even though they cannot significantly alter the strength of political parties in the House of Representatives.

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