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NC fails to nominate for by-polls as leaders divided over candidates


 |  Kathmandu

Nepali Congress leaders are sharply divided over the candidacy nomination for the by-elections to be held in Ilam Constituency 2 and Bajhang Province Assembly (1) on April 27.

A meeting of the NC’s Central Work Execution Committee (CWEC) and parliamentary board convened in party president Sher Bahadur Deuba’s residence in Budhanilkantha to nominate candidates for the by elections ended inclusively.  

The meeting ended without agreements after President Deuba and leader Dr Shekhar Koirala did not budge from their stances over their preferred candidates.

According to sources, Deuba and Khadka are in favor of picking Dambar Khadka, one among those recommended by the Nepali Congress Ilam District Working Committee.  Khadka had lost the general elections to late CPN (UML) leader Subas Nembang in 2022.

On the other hand, Shekhar Koirala took his strong stand for leader Bhesh Raj Acharya arguing that he commands support of voters in Ilam-2.  General Secretary duo Bishwa Prakash Sharma and Gagan  Thapa also were in favor of Acharya saying he would win the elections if the ticket were awarded to him.  They took a stand in the meeting that Acharya should be nominated based on the recommendation of the local committee’s report.

The meeting which was scheduled to begin at 2 pm had started late due to the differences of the leaders over the candidacy nomination.

“General Secretaries Bishwa Prakash and Gagan proposed Bhesh Raj for nomination. But President Deuba did not agree to it,” a leader privy to the meeting told Nepalkhabar, “Shekhar Koirala put forth the same proposal with Deuba. After Deuba rebuffed Koirala’s proposal, he left the meeting.”

Koirala also suggested that the candidate who obtained the third lowest votes in the local election should not be nominated for Bajhang Province Assembly (1).

“There had been general agreement in the party that the candidate who lost the previous elections should not be given tickets. But the leadership is picking the candidate who obtained the third lowest votes in the local elections,” a source quoted Shekhar as saying.

President Deuba, Vice President Khadka, leader Shekhar Koirala, general secretary duo Sharma and Thapa, Shashanka Koirala were present in the meeting.

Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, the spokesperson of the NC, said the party will hold discussions and finalize candidates for by elections by Wednesday.


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