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NC likely to nominate Khadka for Ilam-2 by-polls


 |  Kathmandu

Nepali Congress leader Dambar Khadka (File Photo)

Nepali Congress is likely to pick Dambar Khada as a candidate for the by elections to be held in Ilam-2 on April.

Khadka, who has been associated with the NC for the last four decades, had contested the 2022 general elections in this constituency with the backing of the CPN (Maoist Center) and the CPN (Unified Socialist).

He had lost to late UML leader Subas Nembang by a margin of 114 votes.

Even though the NC Ilam District Working Committee recommended leaders Bhesh Raj Acharya, Keshav Thapa as number 1 and 2 on a priority basis, Khada, who was listed as number 3 very likely to win the nomination for the elections, an NC source said.

Earlier, NC General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma visited Ilam-2 to take stock of the possible candidate. Sharma will brief Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba on it and the meeting of the Parliamentary Party of the NC will take a final call on it.

The constituency is lying vacant after UML’s Nembang passed away on September 11, 2023. The Election Commission of Nepal has set the by-elections for April 27.

Similarly, the UML has decided to field Suhang Nembang, the son of late UML leader Subas Nembang, while Milan Limbu is reportedly contesting the elections representing the Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP). Both of them are below 35 years of age while Khadka is 50 years old.

“Dambar is the youngest among those recommended by the NC Ilam District Working Committee,” a source close to President Deuba told Nepalkhabar, “There is a strong possibility that the party will pick Khadka.”

Talking to Nepalkhabar, Khadka said that he will win the elections this time since he has been working actively for the rights and interests of the youth and has made significant contributions in the social work field in the district.

Seven candidates recommended
The Nepali Congress Ilam District Working Committee has recommended names of seven candidates to the CWC.
Bhesh Raj Acharya listed as number 1 followed by Keshav Thapa while Dambar Khadka features in number 3. Thapa is a former lawmaker while Khadka is the president of the NC Ilam District Working Committee. Acharya had lost to Subas Nembang in the elections held in 2013.

The others recommended include Nagendra Kumal, Ramesh Lingden, Chandramaya Limbu and Chandrakala Rai.

Min Bishwakarma, the chief of the Publicity Department of the NC said the party is reviewing the list of candidates recommended the by-elections.

“We have received a list of recommended candidates. The party is reviewing the list of the recommended candidates,” said Bishwakarma, “We will finalize the candidate in two-three days.”

Nepalkhabar has talked to Bishwakarma against this backdrop. Excerpts:

UML and RSP nominated youth for the by-elections, what will the NC do?
Khadka is the youngest among those recommended by the NC Ilam District Committee. He is a CWC member of the NC as well as the district president. Currently, the party is reviewing the list of recommended candidates. We will single out the strongest candidate. The chances are high for Khadka.

How does the NC take the candidacies of Suhang and Milan?
National issue, local issue and contributions should be taken into consideration when it comes to elections. It's not just about age. Otherwise, 70-year-old Subas Nembang would not have won the elections against 49-year-old Dambar Khadka in 2022.


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