Rajendra Mahato, Bimalendra Nidhi, Dhanusha constituency-3, Nepal federal and provincial election 2017
Rastriya Janata Party Nepal leader Rajendra Mahato and Nepali Congress Leader Bimalendra Nidhai

KATHMANDU, Nov 9: Two heavyweights of Nepali politics Rajendra Mahato and Bimalendra Nidhi are contesting for a parliamentary seat from Dhanusha constituency-3 in the upcoming parliamentary and provincial assembly election scheduled for December 7. The first phase of the twin elections is being conducted in 32 districts on November 26.

A tough and interesting competition between the two leaders is expected in the constituency. Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) presidium committee member Mahato feels secure in the constituency since the party’s election partner Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) is supporting him. RJPN also won the local election in the constituency with a larger vote difference. But he has found a heavy match Nidhi.

Dhanusha is the ancestral district of Nidhi. Son of popular Nepali Congress leader Mahendra Narayan Nidhi, Bimalendra Nidhi has already won two elections from Dhanusha. He won Nepal Legislative election 1994, and Constitution Assembly election 2013. Though was defeated by Krishna Pratap Malla in 1999 Legislative election, his ancestral legacy and previous wins are strong bases for Nidhi’s victory in the upcoming polls.

But, Mahato is a new and strong challenger for Nidhi. Mahato is also hopeful of getting support from left alliance since NC is the top rival of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) alliance. The left alliance has decided to support Rastriya Prajatantra Party candidate Rajendra Lingden in Jhapa constituency-3 in an attempt to defeat NC’s candidate Krishna Prasad Sitaula; and Mahato is expecting the same in his constituency.

Nevertheless, the left alliance has fielded Maoist Center’s leader Ram Singh Yadav as a common candidate in Dhanusha-3 against Mahato and Nidhi. But, Yadav is a weaker candidate comparing to the two heavyweights.

Mahato had won the Constitution Assembly election 2013 from Sarlahi-4. A popular candidate from Madhes, Mahato came to highlight during the Madhes movement that broke after the Constitution promulgation in September 20, 2015. On the contrary, Nidhi was the Home Minister during the Madhes movement . And, Mahato, in his election publicity programs, is campaigning that Nidhi had led the suppression of the Madhes protest that killed 46 people including protestors and 10 security personel.

Mahato also claims that he came to contest polls in the constituency to replace Nidhi, who despite being elected again and again in previous elections, failed to develop Janakpur. He is also using Madhes issues as his slogan to woo voters in the constituency.

(This article is also contributed by thahakhabar)

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