Downward journey

If the initial trend is any indicator, a large number of prominent leaders from both the ruling and the opposition parties may have the Parliament’s door shot on them this time. From former Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal of United Socialists in Ilam -1 to Subhash Nembang of CPN-UML in Ilam -2, Prakashman Singh of the Nepali Congress in Kathmandu-1 and Upendra Yadav of Janata Samajbadi Dal in Saptari -2, their journey appeared on the downslide. Initial trend as the counting began on Monday showed they were trailing.

Although UML Chief K P Oli was leading comfortably in Jhapa -5 right from the beginning, his close aides and members of the coterie–Nembang, Ishwar Pokharel (Kathmandu-5), Mahesh Basnet in Bhaktapur-2, and former Chief Minister Shankar pokharel who is contesting the provincial election from Lumbini province, were trailing their rivals.

Mohammad Ishtiaq Rai from Banke-2 contesting on the JSP ticket was far behind Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Dhawal Shamsher Rana. Similarly, K P Sitauala, Nepali congress leader and former Home Minister, was behind RPP’s Rajendra Lingden in Jhapa-3.

C K Raut of Janamat Party was leading comfortably over Upendra Yadav in Saptari. Senior Maoist leader Pampha Bhusal was trailing Rashtriya Swatantra Party candidate Dr Toshima Karki in Lalitpur-3. In Kathmandu-1, RPP’s
Rabindra Mishra snatched the lead that former Deputy Prime Minister and Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh had initially.

Dr. Rajan Bhattarai, UML was trailing his political rival and Nepali Congress leader from Kathmandu-4. Similarly, initial trends indicated that Bishnu Poudel, a senior UML leader was trailing in Rupandehi-2.