Kanchanpur-3 is battleground of close aides of Deuba, OliUML candidate Niru Devi Pal and her rival from the Congress, Ramesh Lekhak, are expected to have a neck-to-neck competition.
Federal constituency 3 in Kanchanpur, a plain district of Sudurpaschim Province, is a battleground of two close aides of CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba in the elections next week.
UML candidate Niru Devi Pal and her rival from the Congress, Ramesh Lekhak, are expected to have a neck-to-neck competition for the House of Representatives seat.
Lekhak, who was defeated by the UML candidate in 2017, is determined to win this time with the support of the five-party alliance. However, his worry is the party’s rebel candidates. Dipak Bahadur Singh and Sharada Chand—both Congress national convention representatives—are in the fray in Kanchanpur-3 as independents.
Bhimraj Bhatta, the district committee secretary of the Nepali Congress, however said that the rebel candidates would make little impact as both of them were expelled from the party.
“There is no intra-party dispute and dissatisfaction. Even if the rebel candidates may whisk away a few votes, the Congress candidate will certainly win,” Bhatta added.
UML’s Dipak Prakash Bhatta had defeated Lekhak, a four-time lawmaker, with a small margin of 256 votes in 2017.
“The UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) had an electoral alliance then. We have the support of the Maoists and CPN (Unified Socialist) now. Lekhak will easily win this time,” said Bhatta.
The UML has partnered with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party in Kanchanpur-3. The UML district leadership claimed that Pal, who was a member of the House of Representatives under the proportional electoral system, would emerge victorious in the upcoming elections for her praiseworthy work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have a strong party structure in the constituency. The Rastriya Prajatantra Party is also strong in Kanchanpur-3. The congress’ rebel candidates will make the UML candidate’s victory easier,” claimed Mahesh Panta, a member of the UML provincial secretariat. According to him, the local people will support Pal who played an important role in supplying medical oxygen and filling the vacant posts of doctors at Mahakali Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kanchanpur Constituency 3 comprises Bhimdatta Municipality, Dodhara Chandani Municipality and Ward 8 of Bedkot Municipality. As per the record of the Election Commission, the constituency has 97,822 registered voters.
Votes of Dodhara Chandani are thought to be decisive in the federal and provincial elections. Major political parties have not picked any candidates from Dodhara Chandani. The UML and the Congress candidates have concentrated their efforts to woo voters in the area.
Both the candidates have similar agendas. They include developing Kanchanpur as an international trading point by constructing a dry port, building embankments along the Mahakali and Jogbudha rivers, and upgrading the Mahakali Provincial Hospital.