Chiri Babu Maharjan, 65, has been elected the mayor of Lalitpur, one of the three metropolitan cities in the Bagmati province and one of the two in the Kathmandu valley, by defeating Hari Krishna Byanjankar. Nepali Congress’ Maharjan garnered 42,722 votes whereas UML’s Byanjankar was restricted to 24,560.
Here are five essential things you need to know to know Chiri Babu Maharjan and his vision for Lalitpur.
1. Struggling childhood
Her father Nhuchhelal died when Chiri Babu Maharjan was quite young. Hence, Maharjan continued his studies by working as a daily wage worker. After the 6th grade, it became very difficult for him to continue his education. Indira Yakthumba, the founder of Gyanodaya Balbatika, decided to support his education up to class 10.
After passing the secondary level with good marks in the mid-1970s, he started working and studying together.
He did ICom from the Public Youth Campus, BCom from Patan Campus and MCom from Tribhuvan University Kirtipur. His socio-political activism started when he was a class 10 student.
2. Political success
Before becoming the mayor of Lalitpur in 2017, Chiri Babu Maharjan was elected ward chairman three times.
Supporting the people’s movement of 1990, he resigned from the post of ward chairman of the Panchayat system and joined the Nepali Congress immediately. In the next local elections in 1992, he got elected the ward chair again.
Chiri Babu Maharjan is the founding president of the Jyapu Society established in the early 2000s. That initiative also helped him become the mayor of Lalitpur in the last elections. He was ahead of CPN-UML’s Hari Krishna Byanjankar by 326 votes.
3. Familiar competition
In the last local elections in Lalitpur, the Congress had fought alone and the UML in coordination with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP). Ramesh Maharjan of the Bibeksheel Saja Party got 13,458 votes and Dinesh Maharjan of the Maoist party got 10,661 votes.
The main competition for the mayoral post was between Chiri Babu Maharjan of the Nepali Congress and Hari Krishna Byanjankar of the CPN-UML. The same competition repeated this time, but Maharjan significantly widened the margin.
4. Tested and approved leader
Chiri Babu Maharjan is already a tested and approved leader as his term as the mayor of Lalitpur is quite successful.
He says, “I have done a lot of work in the Jyapu Society. That is why the votes of many Maharjans have come to me, which also made the victory easier. ‘
He further says, “In the last five years, we have built many projects for the welfare of the city dwellers. No one is new to the mayor to complete those projects in the project bank, I think I am the one who is qualified and capable to understand everything.”
Maharjan claims he had completed 7,500 development projects in five years.
5. A promise to continue his work
Now re-elected, Chiri Babu Maharjan plans to dig deep tube wells even if there is no water facility in all places even after the arrival of Melamchi water. He also plans to plant trees on the banks of the Bagmati. Maharjan says a feasibility study would be started immediately to build a 1.4 km long flyover from Thapathali to Pulchok. He plans to provide free pre-school education in every ward.
“I have many priorities. Collectively, heritage conservation is a top priority. The second priority is environmental improvement. The third is to improve education and health and create jobs.”