After the general elections held in Nepal on November 20, the counting of votes is still going on. The trends and results obtained so far do not show any hope of getting a clear majority for any party or coalition. Proving the claims of political parties and opinion polls, exit polls to be false, a new political party has rung alarm bells for everyone.
The strong presence of Rashtriya Swatantra Party in the results of the general elections of Nepal has given sleepless nights to all the old parties and leaders. In order to free the politics of Nepal from the clutches of some of the big leaders of two of the four main parties of Nepal, the Nepal Swatantra Party had given its candidature for the first time with the ‘bell’ election symbol.
Just 6 months back, some youths had announced to contest elections together to change the character and face of Nepal’s politics. And the public may not have given more seats in this election, but they have definitely encouraged their efforts. So far this party has got an edge in about a dozen areas. He has already won three important seats in the capital and is leading on four other seats in Kathmandu itself. Not only this, the Rashtriya Swatantra Party is also getting the third highest number of votes after Congress and Amale in the counting of proportional votes. Whereas Maoists and other old parties are lagging far behind.
Six months ago, when the local elections were held in Nepal, a 34-year-old youth Balendra Sah was made victorious on the post of Mayor of Kathmandu Municipal Corporation by a huge vote, leaving the big political party leaders in the dust. No one had thought that politics trapped in the clutches of three or four political parties would get so much love from the youth. But Nepal’s famous rapper artist Balendra Sah, who is a structural engineer by profession, lost the senses of all political pundits by becoming mayor.
Journalist stepped into politics
Encouraged by this, some youths who wanted a change in politics felt the pulse of the public and knowing their hunger to get rid of the traditional and conservative political parties, presented a fresh young face in front of them in the elections. It was headed by a famous journalist from Nepal, whose name is Ravi Lamichhane. Until 6 months ago, Ravi, who ran the most popular program called Direct Dialogue with the People on a private TV channel of Nepal, always advocated youth participation in politics and alternative political power. But in the local elections, when Balendra Sah got the love of the public more than the expectations, then after a few days, saying goodbye to journalism, he jumped into the field of politics.
In this effort of Ravi Lamichhane, promising youths from all over the country supported. Some left their medical profession, some left their engineering jobs, some left their government jobs and some left their lakhs in private companies and jumped into the electoral fray. And their candidates are leading in about a dozen places in this election. In many places, the leaders of the big parties are getting defeated because of the candidate of the Swatantra Party.
big faces towards defeat
The ruling Congress, the Maoists and the opposition Amale are suffering the most from the arrival of this party. Their big leaders have come under its grip and are losing the elections. By winning three important seats in Kathmandu and leading in four others, the big face of the old party here has to face defeat in the elections. Two veteran Maoist women leaders, former Speaker Onsari Gharti and current Energy Minister and Maoist Party spokesperson Pampha Bhushal are facing defeat.
Ishwar Pokharel, the second largest leader of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s party, has lost the election from his own constituency before being in the fray of the Swatantra Party. While Shankar Pokharel, general secretary of Oli’s party, is also close to defeat. Nepal’s Education Minister Umesh Shrestha, who is contesting against Swatantra Party President Ravi Lamichhane, is trailing far behind.
By the way, Ravi Lamichhane had earlier announced to contest against Prachanda, the chairman of the Maoist party, but at the last moment, Prachanda left the field fearing defeat from his home town Chitwan and left his traditional seat and went to China to ensure victory. Went to Gorkha district adjacent to the border.
Ravi Lamichhane’s party has spoiled the game of the big leaders of the Maoist Congress. Many leaders who were ministers in the government may have to face defeat. Due to this new alternative political power in Nepal, one thing is certain that the politics here is not going to remain in the hands of 70+ leaders for a long time.