Madhav Kumar Nepal, who played a major role in making the main opposition CPN-UML the number one party in the country, is now struggling to identify himself as the leader of CPN (Unified Socialist). Nepal, who is contesting the elections from Rautahat-1, is currently busy holding a door-to-door election campaign from dawn to dusk. UML has fielded Ajay Prasad Gupta against Nepal from this constituency.
This is not the first battle of Nepal with Gupta. Earlier, in the second Constituent Assembly election held in 2013, Gupta had fought with Madhav on behalf of the then Nepal Democratic Forum led by Bijay Gachchhadar. The same Gupta who was defeated by Nepal at that time seems to be at stake to avenge the old defeat by entering the UML this time.
In the local elections held earlier, the ward presidents of the Unified Socialist got 18,500 votes against 7,117 votes obtained by the ward presidents of its rival party UML in Rautahat-1.
Analyzing the votes received by the ward chairpersons of the Unified Socialist Party in Rautahat-1 in the local elections, Nepal alone seems to be the strongest candidate in this constituency. Besides, Nepal is likely to receive 13, 946 votes obtained by Nepali Congress, and 10,140 votes received by Loktantrik Samajbadi Party in the last local elections.
During the speech, he did not only remind that Rambaran Yadav and Bidya Bhandari became presidents on the backup of his proposal, but also claimed that Nijgadh Airport and Tarai-Madhes fast-track started at the initiation he took when he was the head of the UML and the country. Against this backdrop, Nepalkhabar talked to Nepal about the election campaign he is currently running in Rautahat-1. Excerpts:
How are you running the election campaign?
The top leaders of the ruling alliance are currently campaigning in their respective constituencies. I am conducting the election campaign in my own constituency. We are holding corner meetings and door-to-door campaigns at different places from dawn to dusk. There is an enthusiastic presence in favor of the alliance.
What is the situation in Rautahat 1 from where you are contesting the election?
We are sure to win the elections. This area is a place where we can win alone. I have no doubt about victory as other parties of the coalition are also with me.
What are the expectations of the voters in this year's election?
In some places, people are demanding roads, electricity, school buildings, irrigation, hospitals, health posts, and madrasas. In some places, the voters have also demanded to organize slums, provide housing, and employment. During my tenure, we built mass housing and community buildings in many places in the region. I have also been taking the initiative to address the needs of the people of this area.
You led the UML for a long time, and now you have defected to form a new party under your leadership. You are contesting elections for the first time representing CPN (Unified Socialist), how is the response from the people?
Even in 2048 BS, I led the election campaign of UML. I was also the commander of UML's election campaign in 2051 BS. I was the party leader at that time. Our party has got 20 constituencies from the alliance. Our election campaign is going very well in all 20 constituencies. We are trying to win everywhere. Our condition is good even in the area of the provincial assembly that we have received. The situation is encouraging everywhere.
You have a conflict with your former colleague UML Chairman Oli, but during the public speech, you did not utter any words berating him? I don't feel like insulting like Oli. I don't have the habit of cursing anyone. He is an uncultured man. He was brought up in a bad culture. I am a cultured person. I don't feel like doing such trivial things. There should be no slurs in speech.
You said that you have brought big projects of national importance like the Kathmandu-Tarai fast-track and Nijgadh Airport which are near your constituency, will these projects be completed on time?
I have prioritized these projects of national importance. These projects should be completed on time. I brought Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in a helicopter and showed him the area where the airport will be built. It was I who showed the Nijgadh airport area to Ramchandra Poudel. I have also brought the parliamentary committee to visit the Nijgadh Airport area. As the head and chairman of the sub-committee of the parliament, I myself have inspected the airport area many times.
As Nijgarh Airport and Fast Track will have a great impact on the national economy along with the development of this region, my emphasis on its construction is very big.
Kathmandu's airport is enough, why do we need Nijgadh Airport which is very costly?
Kathmandu airport has become narrow. The plane has to be held in the sky for hours. If Nijgarh Airport is built, the traffic pressure of Kathmandu Airport will come down. Nijgadh airport and fast-track work should be completed as soon as possible.