Dalit candidate elected Dhangadi mayorA Dalit candidate has been elected the mayor of Dhangadi Sub-metropolitan City in Kailali district.
A Dalit candidate has been elected the mayor of Dhangadi Sub-metropolitan City in Kailali district.
Nepali Congress mayoral candidate Nripa Bada emerged victorious in the only sub-metropolis of the far-western region.
Another Dalit candidate, Bir Bahadur Sunar also won the mayoral post in Mahakali Municipality of Kanchanpur district for the NC during the second phase local elections held on June 28.
The chief election officer announced Bada’s victory on Saturday. He garnered 14,324 votes while his nearest rival Gopal Hamal, a social campaigner who contested the polls as an independent candidate, received 11,527 votes.
The NC fielded 42-year-old Bada, who migrated to Dhangadi from the remote Ghungarkot village of Achham district, in the mayoral race.
Many people said it was difficult for a Dalit candidate to win in the region where untouchability is widely practised.
Bada entered into politics as a student during the People’s Movement of 1990. He worked as the municipal president of the NC in Dhagadi. He is considered as a stalwart committed to the party and the people.
“Bada’s victory has proved that one who is committed to the society and people wins the vote. Gone are the days when caste and class ruled the country,” said Bhoj Raj Chataut, an observer.
Along with the mayor, NC candidates were elected in most of the posts including the deputy mayor in the sub-metropolis.
Sushila Mishra Bhatta won the deputy mayor’s race with 17,408 votes. Her closest rival Rukmani Devkota of the CPN-UML got 12,763 votes.
Of the 19 wards in the sub-metropolis, the NC won the chair in 12 wards while the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the UML won five and two respectively.
Out of the 76,430 voters in Dhangadi, 54,656 exercised their franchise. According to the office of the chief election officer, 3,983 votes for the mayor were invalid while the number was 2,689 for the deputy mayor.