Bidya Bhattarai of the ruling CPN and Khem Raj Paudel of the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) have filed nominations for by-election in the federal constituency of Kaski-2 scheduled for November 30.
Responding to the reporters who asked why she has filed candidacy and what the basis for her victory is, Bhattarai--the widow of the then minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation Rabindra Adhikari who had won the seat on a CPN-UML ticket in the last general election--pointed that she had a political background even in the past.
"The party has selected me considering my revolutionary background in the past and contribution of Rabindra Adhikari in the constituency," she stated. She added that she has filed nominations due to the love and respect bestowed by the people on Adhikari.
"I see my victory guaranteed. Election is competitive and there are other friends in the race. My candidacy is for Adhikari's contribution and people's love. We won here at times of difficulty in the past. It is easier now. We have supremacy and our victory is guaranteed," she elaborated.
She pointed that she is a unanimous candidate from the party, in an apparent dig at the fidgety NC which couldn't decide its candidate until Wednesday, and there is no factions inside the party.
NC candidate Paudel responded to the same question claiming he will win by over 4,000 votes. "Had anyone estimated that Donald Trump will win in America?" he quipped.
He cited unpopularity of the ruling CPN as the main reason for his victory. "The communist government with two-third majority has not done anything for the people and has not controlled corruption," he pointed. "It has not been able to control price hike. The government is unpopular. We will, therefore, win the election."
He claimed that he is also a unanimous candidate from the party. "Dev Raj Chalise was in contention for the ticket until yesterday but he has proposed my candidacy today," he argued. "There is no dispute inside the party."
Chalise had lost the seat to Adhikari, who was supported by the then CPN (Maoist Center), by around 10,000 votes in the last general election.