Congress to field candidates in 90 federal seatsThe Shekhar Koirala-led dissident group has been arguing that the party shouldn’t have settled for fewer than 100 seats.
The ruling alliance has finalised the seat-sharing agreement with all of its electoral partners. The alliance on Saturday reached an agreement with the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, a new entrant in the alliance, setting aside eight federal parliament seats and 16 provincial seats for the outfit in the November polls.
The seat-sharing arrangement between the four parties that make up the ruling coalition—Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Centre), CPN (Unified Socialist), and Rastriya Janamorcha Party—had been concluded on Friday.
As per the agreement reached among the four parties, CPN (Maoist Centre) will get 45 federal seats, CPN (Unified Socialist) 20, and Rastriya Janamorcha two seats. The largest constituent of the alliance, Congress has kept 90 House of Representatives seats for itself.
Congress leaders said that it became relatively easier for the party to settle the seat arrangement rows with the exit of Janata Samajbadi and entry of Loktantrik Samajbadi in the alliance.
“The new political equation made it possible for Congress to keep 90 seats with itself. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible,” a Congress leader told the Post requesting anonymity.
After the Janata Samajbadi Party walked out of the ruling coalition on Friday, another Madhesh-based party Loktantrik Samajbadi joined the coalition the same day.
However, a dissident group in the Congress, led by Shekhar Koirala, has been arguing that the party shouldn't have settled for less than 100 seats for the party.
“Now we demand that our panel should be given 35 federal seats,” Gururaj Ghimire, a leader from the dissident faction, told the Post.
The Congress had witnessed a serious dispute in the party as the Koirala-led faction strongly protested against the list of candidates selected under the Proportional Representation (PR) category by the party establishment. The dispute was resolved when party President Sher Bahadur Deuba showed some flexibility, agreeing to accommodate some more candidates from the Koirala faction in the PR list.
A leader close to Shekhar Koirala said that they aren’t happy with the list of candidates included in the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category either. The nomination for the FPTP candidates is scheduled for Sunday.
“The party office bearers forged the alliance and have distributed seats as per their convenience,” a leader close to Koirala told the Post in the condition of anonymity. “It’s not acceptable for us.”
Meanwhile, the Nawalpur Regional Committee of Congress has voiced its discontent over the alliance decision to allocate Nawalpur-2 to the Maoist Centre. The Regional Committee has expressed its displeasure publicly by publishing a statement on Saturday.
“In the previous election, the Left Coalition defeated the Congress candidate with just a narrow margin,” reads the statement. “This time, we are not happy with the alliance decision to allocate the constituency to the Maoist Centre.”