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Know Birgunj Mayor Rajesh Man Singh in 5 points

Newly elected Birgunj Mayor Rajesh Man Singh.
Newly elected Birgunj Mayor Rajesh Man Singh.

Rajesh Man Singh has been elected the mayor of Birgunj, the only metropolitan city in the Madhesh province, by defeating outgoing mayor Vijay Sarawagi. Singh garnered 46,215 voters whereas UML’s Sarawagi was restricted to 23,671.

Here are five essential things you need to know to know Rajesh Man Singh and his vision for Birgunj.

1. Political affiliation

Rajesh Man Singh, 52, is a leader of the Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal (JSPN). However, until a few months before the election, he was a leader of the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party Nepal, a splinter group of the JSPN.

He is considered an outspoken speaker and believed to speak against wrongs. He has claimed on multiple occasions that if the people of Birgunj are subjected to injustice, he will stand by them.

2. Old connections

Not just this year, but in the local elections of 2017 too, Rajesh Man Singh competed with Bijay Sarawagi for the post of mayor in Birgunj. Where Sarawagi of the then Federal Socialist Forum won the election with 19,393 votes, Singh, who was in the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, came third with 12,165 votes.

Sarawagi and Singh were not just competitors, they also worked in the same party (JSPN) for almost a year. But, despite the party unity, the two groups did not get along very well.

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Rajesh Man Singh with JSPN leaders.

3. Beginning of the political career

In 1986, Rajesh Man Singh became a member of the Nepal Students Union while studying IA. He then entered mainstream politics with Nepali Congress and was elected a ward member of Birgunj in the 1997 local elections.

In the early 2010s, he became the general secretary of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal.

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Rajeshman Singh voting.

4. Focus on local problems

As per his manifesto, Rajesh Man Singh’s goal is a prosperous Birgunj where people get the services easily, free of corruption and heavy taxes. He is committed to making the city systematic, working in the areas of sanitation, garbage management, mosquito control, education and health.

5. Focus on corruption control

Corruption is rampant in the metropolis and cases are ongoing in the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). If the pandemic had not occurred, there would have been loud protests led by Singh in the opposition, but outgoing Sarawagi turned lucky. So during his tenure, Singh is adamant to eradicate corruption, both individually and institutionally.

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