Nepali Congress will be the first party in upcoming polls: Gagan Thapa

KATHMANDU, May 3: General Secretary of the ruling Nepali Congress, Gagan Thapa has maintained that the party will be the first party in all positions in all the local levels across the country in the upcoming local level elections scheduled for May 13.

Thapa also said that this time the competition is between two electoral alliances - one led by Nepali Congress and another by the CPN-UML.

Ratopati recently talked with Thapa about the upcoming local level and the preparations of the party.

How is the preparations for the upcoming polls going?

It is not easy to go for the election, forging an electoral alliance with other parties. We are contacting our leaders and cadres unsatisfied with the decision and doing our best to get their full support.

It has been tough for NC to share the seats but here we are. It is the duty of party members to go with the party’s decision.

Being a member of the Local Election Preparation and Monitoring Committee of the ruling alliance, do you believe that the coalition was successful in forging an electoral alliance?

It would be better to make remarks about the electoral alliance after we get the results of the election. So far, it is apparent that NC will be victorious in those local levels where we have shared seats with coalition members.

Party cadres do not seem satisfied, as the final decision of seat sharing  in the metropolis and sub-metropolis was taken solely by the central level of the parties. What sort of results are you expecting?

I also believe that we might have made some wrong decisions regarding the seat sharing in the metropolis and sub-metropolis. The decision must have been taken with the participation of District Committees and I advocated for that to happen as well. But, at the end the decision was taken by the central level.

So, I believe that it will be easier for us to win in those metropolises and sub-metropolises where the district and other local level committees are happy with the decision. 

The issues of the electoral alliances will be discussed after the election. For now, I am confident that our party members will go with the party’s decision.

Independent candidates are winning people’s hearts more than candidates of the political parties in Kathmandu. What do you think?

Independent candidates are not new things in this sort of election and yes, they are popular among voters. It is because voters are longing for changes. But at the end, it is the mainstream political party that is entrusted with crucial votes of the people. 

Is the candidacy of Balen Shah for the post of Kathmandu metropolis a challenge for the NC?

Every candidate must be viewed as an obstacle  for the party. No one should be underestimated. But, as a leader and voter of NC, I see many bases for our candidate Srijana Singh to be elected as the new mayor of Kathmandu metropolis.

Besides, the UML is also in the contest. 

In the last local election, independent candidates had garnered as many as 40,000 votes. NC being a social democratic party, isn’t it a challenge for your party to avoid fluctuation of the votes?

I agree. As a member and supporter of democratic party, our voters longing for changes might vote for independent candidates but it is now our duty to convince our supporters during our election campaign. 

What sort of results are you expecting for the Nepali Congress this time?

Nepali Congress will be the first party in all positions in all the local levels across the country in the upcoming local level elections. 

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