Durlav Thapa is the candidate for the elections to the House of Representatives from Bhaktapur-2 under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system representing the democratic-left alliance.Originally from Suryabinayak municipality-5, Bhaktapaur, Thapa is the incumbent president of Nepali Congress Bhaktapur District Working Committee. He was reelected by the 14 General Convention of the party. Thapa, who began his political career as a member of Nepal Student Union, served as the president of the then Nepali Congress Katunje Village Working Committee. With three days to go for the elections scheduled for November 20, Nepalkhabar talked to Thapa for his views on his ongoing election campaigns and preparations for the same. Excerpts:
How is the election campaign taking place?
The election campaign is going on in an enthusiastic manner. Voters, we believe, are in favor of the democratic-left alliance and eager to cast their votes for us. Since this constituency is the stronghold of the Nepali Congress (NC), we are clinching towards victory.
There are only four days to go for the general elections. How is the atmosphere? Will you win the elections?
We will surely win the elections this time. Do not base your calculation on the results of the elections of 2074 BS but also look at the results of 2070 BS. The situation is in our favor this time. Besides, we are contesting the elections from the democratic-left alliance. CPN (Maoist Center) and CPN (Unified Socialist) are in our support. The election results of the local-level polls are also in our favor. Beside, there are no differences within our party.
What is the total number of voters in Bhaktapur-2? How many of them will cast their votes in the elections?
There are 91,911 voters in Bhaktapur-2. The voters' turnout is expected to be around 70 percent (65,000 to 70,000). One must garner at least 30,000 votes to secure victory. I believe people will cast their votes in favor of me.
How do you take the voters' perception towards the democratic-left alliance?
Firstly, people are tired of the CPN-UML due to its poor performance when Oli was at the helm of the government. In fact, Oli betrayed the people even though they had given his party almost a two-thirds majority in the 2017 elections for a five-year full term. As far as Bhaktapur-2 is concerned, history has shown that not a single representative has been reelected. Hence, this could be another basis for why we will win the elections this time.
What are the fundamental differences between the rival party UML's election agendas and your party's agendas?
We believe in multiparty democracy. We are committed to safeguarding the federal democratic republic and the constitution, while sticking to our democratic principles and values. The UML has no agendas at all. Where is the agenda of gas pipeline installation in every single house, generation of electricity through wind and the operations of ship? The commitments made by UML leaders have gone in vain. Rameshwor Dhungel, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2070 BS from the NC, fulfilled his duties as he had been elected to promulgate the constitution and he did so. Aside from the works of development, as a lawmaker, if elected, my role would be to formulate laws, acts, and policies. I will not shy away from these duties. I will leave no stone unturned to fulfill my duties and commitments made during the election campaign. We look at the development from a different perspective. It is a fulfillment of basic needs. They need to be fulfilled. You can ask the parliamentarian elected in 2074 BS from this constituency what he has done during his tenure. How many commitments has he fulfilled?
How important do you think is the clean, honest, and uncontroversial political image to become a politician?
These are very essential characteristics voters have to look at while choosing a candidate in elections. Unfortunately, in the current politics, money, muscle, and mind have become dominant. However, these are very transient and short-lived. In the long run, a clean, honest and uncontroversial image will take hold in politics.
How would you contribute to Bhaktapur-2 and the country as a whole if you are elected as a lawmaker?
If I am elected as a lawmaker, I will play an effective role in enacting laws, acts, and formulate policies for all the provincial and local levels. Once necessary acts, policies, and laws are in place, I guarantee that the provincial and local governments will carry out the development works, effectively. And this is what, I think, the people are expecting from us.
Lastly, what do you say to your electorate?
I appeal to all the voters of Bhaktapur-2 to cast ballots for me in the elections. I will try my level best to fulfill my commitments and make them feel that they have cast their votes for the right candidate. I assure them that I will never let them down.