Know NC's newly elected provincial presidents

Three close to Deuba, two to Poudel and one to Sitaula make to presidential positions

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KATHMANDU: The ruling Nepali Congress (NC) has concluded its provincial conventions in six of the seven provinces. 

Province 2, however, is yet to hold the conventions over the prolonged disputes regarding the election of delegates in five electoral constituencies. 

According to results, the establishment faction led by party President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has won presidential positions in Bagmati, Karnali and Sudur Paschim provinces. 

Newly elected party presidents in Gandaki and Lumbini provinces, on the other hand, belong to the rival faction considered close to senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel. 

Another faction close to Krishna Prasad Sitaula has emerged victorious in Province 1. 

In this story, we have compiled the election results of all six provinces along with a brief introduction of presidents in the respective provinces. 

Province 1: 

Uddhav Thapa, a candidate considered close to the faction led by Krishna Prasad Sitaula, won the elections to become the party’s president in Province 1. Thapa was said to have the support of the establishment faction as well. Thapa defeated his sole contender Guru Ghimire, the candidate fielded by the rival faction led by senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel, with a margin of only two votes. 

Thapa, who made an entry to politics as a student leader in Shanker Dev Campus, had earlier served as Jhapa district president for two terms. He had, however, lost the two parliamentary elections. 

Bagmati Province 

Indra Baniya has been elected as Nepali Congress (NC) president of Bagmati Province. 

Defeating Jagadish Nar Singh KC with a margin of 158 votes in the re-election held on Sunday. As none of the three candidates including Bhimsen Das Pradhan failed to secure more than 50 percent of votes, another round of voting was held for two top vote-securers --- Baniya and KC. 

Baniya is considered close to party President Sher Bahadur Deuba while KC was fielded by the Ram Chandra Poudel faction. 

Fourteen of the 2,026 votes cast were invalidated. While Baniya secured 1,085 votes, Singh managed to win 927 votes. 

Baniya has been actively engaged in the NC since 1987. He had served as the party’s Makwanpur district president, district secretary of Tarun Dal [NC’s youth wing] and district president of Tarun Dal as well. 

He was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly (NA) in 2013. 

Baniya, who had also served as the minister of state for two times, has been leading the province as the NC’s parliamentary party leader in Bagmati. He emerged victorious in the provincial elections in 2017 from Makwanpur 2-B. 

Gandaki Province

Shukra Raj Sharma, leader considered close to the Ram Chandra Prasad Poudel-led faction of NC, has been elected the President of the party. He defeated his contender Arjun Joshi,  the candidate fielded by the Deuba faction. 

Sharma, the first NC president of Gandaki, had led the First People’s Movement in 1990 as the Kaski district commander.

He had also served as the Kaski district president, however, failed to register a victory in parliamentary elections in 1990, 1994 and 2017. 

Bypassing several aspirants from within the party, Sharma succeeded in becoming the common candidate of the senior leader Poudel and General Secretary Shashank Koirala. 

Lumbini Lumbini

Amar Singh Pun has registered a victory against his rival Bharat Kumar Shah to be elected as the Lumbini Province president. 

Pun, considered close to the Poudel faction in the party, garnered as many as 852 votes against 767 secured by his contender Shah, who was fielded by the establishment faction led by party President Sher Bahadur Deuba. 

Pun served as immediate past party president in Rolpa district. 

He, who had been a member of the Second Constituent Assembly through the proportional representation system, served also as a minister of state for irrigation. 

Karnali Province

Lalit Jung Shahi of the establishment faction has been elected the Karnali Province president. Shahi defeated his rival Bhupendra Jung Shahi with a margin of 105 votes.  While Shahi secured 422 votes, his contender got only 317 votes. 

Newly elected provincial president Shahi took the membership of the NC in 1980. He subsequently served as NC’s Jumla district secretary, Kalikot in charge and Jumla district’s acting president. 

Shahi, who had won the 2013 CA elections from Jumla district, is the only Congress leader to win parliamentary elections in the district 

He recently switched his camp from the Poudel faction and joined the establishment faction. 

Sudur Paschim  Province

Bir Bahadur Balayar, the candidate fielded by the establishment faction, has been elected as the party’s Sudurpaschim Province president.

Of the 1,003 votes cast in Saturday’s polls, Balayar secured 688 against 280 garnered by his rival Narayan Dutta Mishra. 

Balayar started his political career in his early days in Doti’s Sitaram Secondary School. He was later elected as the Nepal Student Union president of the Tribhuvan University (TU) branch. 

He had also been deployed as the security coordinator to oversee security matters at the Chaksibari-based residence of NC leader Ganesh Man Singh during the 1990 people’s movement. 

He had also served as the party’s Doti district president. 

He, who had lost the 2008 CA elections, emerged victorious in the 2013 CA elections and also served as a minister under the Deuba-led Cabinet. 

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