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Nepal elections: Know the top 10 contenders and their key opponents

File: A meeting between KP Sharma Oli, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in Kathmandu, on Friday, April 24, 2020. Photo: PM Oli's Secretariat
File: A meeting between KP Sharma Oli, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in Kathmandu, on Friday, April 24, 2020. Photo: PM Oli’s Secretariat

As the date for the Nepal elections is just some a week away, people are excited about the polls and their results. Most of them have eyes on top leaders of major political parties and their possibly closest opponents.

In this regard, Onlinekhabar has brought details about the chiefs of 10 political parties and their potential closest rivals during the Nepal elections last year.  

1. KP Sharma Oli vs Khagendra Adhikari 

L-R: KP Sharma Oli and Khagendra Adhikari
L-R: KP Sharma Oli and Khagendra Adhikari

CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, the chief of the biggest political party in the outgoing parliament, and Adhikari of the Nepali Congress are vying with each other for the second time in the federal Nepal elections (for the House of Representatives seat) from Jhapa 5. In 2017, Oli secured a landslide victory with 57,139 votes while Adhikari was restricted to 28, 297. 

2. Sher Bahadur Deuba vs Karna Bahadur Malla

L-R: Sher Bahadur Deuba and Karna Malla
L-R: Sher Bahadur Deuba and Karna Malla

Prime Minister Deuba, the Nepali Congress president, is contesting this time of Nepal elections with his former cadre, Karna Bahadur Malla, in the sole constituency of Dadeldhura. Deuba has never lost the elections so far whereas Malla also won the Provincial Assembly elections in 2017, but on behalf of Deuba’s Nepali Congress party.

Malla was expelled from the party in April this year after he was found leading the rebellion against the party’s official candidates for the local elections. Then, he joined the Nepali Congress (BP), a splinter of the grand old party.

Representing the same party, Malla is contesting against his former boss Deuba during the Nepal elections this time. The main opposition party CPN-UML has assured him of its support.

3. Pushpa Kamal Dahal vs Abdus Miya

L-R: Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Abdus Miya
L-R: Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Abdus Miya

CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is contesting the Nepal elections from Gorkha 2 this time although he was elected from Chitwan 3 last time. The 66-year-old Dahal is vying against 29-year-old candidate Abdus Salam Miya of the CPN-UML. Dahal and Miya both are new candidates for Gorkha 2. Previously, Baburam Bhattarai used to contest from Gorkha 2 and won the election. This time, Bhattarai has extended his support to Dahal.

4. Madhav Kumar Nepal vs Ajay Kumar Gupta 

L-R: Madhav Kumar Nepal and Ajay Gupta
L-R: Madhav Kumar Nepal and Ajay Kumar Gupta

CPN-Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal will be vying against Ajay Kumar Gupta of the CPN-UML to win the House of Representatives seat in Rautahat 1. While Nepal contested the Nepal elections in 2017 from the capital, he has returned to his home district this time as his newly established party is stronger in Rautahat than in Kathmandu.      

5. Upendra Yadav vs CK Raut 

L-R: Upendra Yadav and CK Raut
L-R: Upendra Yadav and CK Raut

For the upcoming Nepal elections, Yadav has formed a coalition with the CPN-UML in Saptari 2.  In 2017, Yadav won the election from the same constituency by receiving 21,620 votes, defeating Umesh Yadav of the Maoist Centre, who secured 11,780 votes. At that time, Yadav’s Federal Socialist Forum and Rastriya Janata Party had an alliance. But, this time, both parties are running against each other. Besides, he is challenged by Raut, who is trying to establish his stronghold in the region after leaving the secessionist agenda.

6. Mahantha Thakur vs Hari Narayan Yadav 

L-R: Mahantha Thakur and Hari Narayan Yadav
L-R: Mahantha Thakur and Hari Narayan Yadav

Loktantrik Samajbadi Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur will possibly have Hari Narayan Yadav of Janata Samajbadi Party as his nearest contender. Both of them will be contesting from Mahottari 3. In 2017 also, Thakur contested from Mahottari 3 and defeated his closest contender Bijaya Chaudhary of the CPN-UML by a margin of 18,328 votes. In this election, Thakur is getting support from the Nepali Congress. 

7. Rajendra Lingden vs Krishna Sitaula 

L-R: Rajendra Lingden and Krishna Sitaula
L-R: Rajendra Lingden and Krishna Sitaula

Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Lingden and Sitaula of the Nepali Congress are also contesting with each other for the second time, in Jhapa 3. In 2017, Lingden formed a coalition with the CPN-UML and defeated Sitaula by around 13,000 votes. This time also, the CPN-UML is supporting Lingden, but the Maoist Centre, which was on the UML side last time, is supporting Sitaula.

8. Rabi Lamichhane vs Krishna Bhakta Pokharel  

L-R: Rabi Lamichhane and Krishna Bhakta Pokharel
L-R: Rabi Lamichhane and Krishna Bhakta Pokharel

Journalist-turned-politician Rabi Lamichhane, the chief of Rastriya Swatantra Party, is contesting the Nepal elections from Chitwan 2 against outgoing lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokharel of the CPN-UML. Lamichhane is contesting the elections for the first time while Pokharel is the winner of the past two elections from the same constituency. 

9. Kamal Thapa vs Maha Laxmi Updhayaya 

L-R: Kamal Thapa and Maha Laxmi Upadhayaya

Rastriya Prajatantra Part-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa is contesting the Nepal elections from Makawanpur 1, using the CPN-UML’s nomination. Thapa was defeated in the same constituency in 2017 although he was supported by the Nepali Congress. Krishna Prasad Dahal of the CPN-UML secured 40,361 votes to defeat him. But, this time, he is fighting against the Nepali Congress with UML support.

10. Chitra Bahadur KC vs Surya Prasad Pathak 

L-R: Chitra Bahadur KC and Surya Prasad Pathak
L-R: Chitra Bahadur KC and Surya Prasad Pathak

 Chitra Bahadur KC, the chairman of Rastriya Janamorcha, is contesting against Surya Prasad Pathak of the CPN-UML from Baglung 1. In the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, KC was elected from Baglung 2. KC was support from the ruling alliance to fight against Pathak, who was elected from the same constituency in 2017.

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