Bhisma Raj Ojha
KATHMANDU, Dec 12: The country recently witnessed the successful completion of the elections to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies in two phases and to date the final vote count results of almost all constituencies (165) and State Assemblies (330) have already been declared.
The elections results in many constituencies came out in favor of the left alliance while the major ruling party Nepali Congress (NC) faced an ‘unexpected’ defeat in these historic polls–viewed significantly in terms of the implementation of the constitution of federal democratic republic of Nepal.
Party’s veteran leaders like Ramchandra Poudel, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Bimalendra Nidhi, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Arjun Narsingh KC and Bishwa Prakash Sharma lost the elections to the House of Representatives.
Formation of left alliance between the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) is viewed as the main reason behind the NC defeat in the twin elections. These two big parties in the mainstream politics took part in the polls by forging an alliance which turned ‘productive’ as well.
Though there may be various visible and invisible factors leading the party to this situation, the formation of a democratic alliance just for name’s sake, factionalism/groupism within the party, lack of mutual trust and ineffective election campaign and failure of those in the party leadership to well inform the public about its good works undertaken in the past are considered as factors that led the party to this situation.
The post-election scenario does not seem to the party’s favor. To date, the NC has won only 21 seats so far in the federal parliament.
Party election mobilization committee coordinator and party leader Balkrishna Khand said the leftist alliance candidates gaining the majority in the elections was obvious at the backdrop of the second and third parties in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections forging the electoral alliance. The left alliance candidates garnered votes of two political parties.
In his view, besides, the NC failed to attract ‘undecided’ votes to its favor. However, the NC vote towards the proportional representation system is “not discouraging.”
The party was hopeful of getting the public support in return of its role in the national politics to date, but the results came out in contrary to the expectation, he added.
The NC is the party that had had a leading role in every political change in the nation since its establishment. It had contributed much to the abolition of the autocratic Rana rule, to the success of the 1990’s movement for democracy and 2006 people’s peaceful movement, promulgation of the constitution and the peaceful completion of the three-tier election, as leader Khand believed.
According to him, the party will play a constructive role as the opposition in a new governance system. The party will strongly oppose if any attempt is made to make significant changes in the constitution, the political system and impose a unilateral rule.
Some of the party leaders took intra-party mismanagement and misconducts as the main factors that brought the party down to this situation.
Incompetency of the party leadership, operation of the party on ad hoc basis, nepotism and favoritism in the election ticket allocation, money politics and devaluation of those leaders having contribution to the party have fuelled the adverse situation, said a party leader preferring anonymity.
In view of party youth leader Bishwa Prakash Sharma, the alliance between two big political parties is the main reason behind the party’s defeat in the election. The elections results are not surprising. He agrees with the beliefs that party’s failure to go with the people with effective election agenda, its past works and make them aware of its significant role in the establishment of peace and constitution drafting are its weaknesses which are reflected in the polls results.
There may be other reasons such as scandal in regard with the appointment of Inspector General of Nepal Police and the registration of an impeachment motion against the then Chief Justice Sushila Karki that backfired the party in the elections. He demanded the party leadership to instantly call the central working committee to review the election results.