Bamdev Gautam about-face election plan

Senior Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Bamdev Gautam has decided to back away from his decision to contest a by-election from Kathmandu-7.

Most of the senior leaders of the party including party chairman and Prime Minister Oli had stood against the proposal emanating from the other party chairperson, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, to field Gautam in a by-election from Kathmandu after getting incumbent lawmaker Rambir Manandhar to vacate the parliamentary seat.

Manandhar was quite ready to vacate the seat and pave the way for former deputy prime minister Gautam.

Ever since his defeat in the House of Representatives election from his home district of Bardiya, Gautam had been lobbying to become a lawmaker through a by-election after getting an incumbent to resign. But lawmaker from Dolpa Dhan Bahadur Budha turned down Gautam’s request that he resign. Party chairman Dahal had then taken the initiative to persuade Manandhar to resign from Kathmandu-7 and open the way for Gautam.

Defense Minister Ishwar Pokharel was the first to reject the proposal outright at a party meeting earlier this week. Later, senior leaders including Bhim Rawal and Bishnu Paudel also publicly opposed the idea and the others followed. NCP has now deferred its secretariat meeting till after the Dashain festival.

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