Independent candidate wins mayoral raceRajat Pratap Shah clinched the mayoral post for Krishnanagar Municipality in Kapilvastu as an independent candidate in the local level elections that were held on June 28.
Rajat Pratap Shah clinched the mayoral post for Krishnanagar Municipality in Kapilvastu as an independent candidate in the local level elections that were held on June 28.
Forty-five-year-old Shah secured 7,328, beating his closest rival Shiva Prasad Kalwar of the CPN (Maoist Centre) who garnered 3,205 votes.
Shah, who started his political career with the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, rose to local prominence during the Madhes movement. He fell out with the party leadership after he was denied election ticket just weeks ahead of the polls and defected to the Nepal Loktantrik Forum, another Madhes-based party, that promised him nomination.
But the new party too refused to field Shah in the local elections, which led him to join the fray as an independent candidate.
“I am extremely pleased by the support that I received from the people,” Shah said after his election. “I feel vindicated after all the things I’ve been put through in the run-up to the elections. Now I will work towards building Krishnanagar and create jobs for the local youths.”
Ajaya Chaudhary, a local man, said Shah was a popular figure in the area, particularly among the youths whose votes played a major role in his election.
“Shah was basically treated like an outcast by the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and the Nepal Loktantrik Forum not knowing how influential he was. We admire his tenacity and his faith despite the treatments he received from the leadership of the two parties. He was dear to the people and they supported him in the election,” Chaudhary said.
In Sudhodhan Rural Municipality, another independent candidate secured the chairperson’s post, defeating the candidates from the major political parties. Nisar Ahmed Khan, who comes from the Muslim community, garnered 1,837 votes to win the seat. The closest contender for the post, Bishwomver Kurmi of the Nepali Congress got 1,763 votes.