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Maoists lose Baglung by-poll

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The UCPN(M) has been trounced in a by-election in Constituency-1 of Baglung district in a result that shows the plummeting popularity of the former revolutionaries and the unpopularity of their support for ethnicity-based federalism in a district dominated by indigenous people.

The final results on Sunday evening just confirmed a trend that had been apparent all day during vote counting: Maoist candidate Krishna Bahadur KC ended up securing just 2,505 votes, less than 10 per cent of the votes cast, and even lost his deposit.

NC candidate Champa Devi Khadka won the by-election by receiving 17,145 votes. She is the widow of NC leader Hari Bahadur Khadka who was killed when his car fell off a highway in Baglung in December. The by-election was for his vacant seat in the Constituent Assembly.  The UML’s Mana KC secured 15,068 votes.

Although the Maoist defeat was anticipated, not many had thought that they would lose the election by such a huge margin.

In the second CA elections-2013, Maoist candidate KC had secured 6,003 votes, nearly three times higher than what he got this time. NC candidate Khadka and UML Hira Khatri had received 13,500 and 11,963 votes respectively.

In the first CA elections-2008, Maoist candidate Chandra Bahadur Budha had come in a close second by securing 14,356 votes, which was less by only 1,430 than UML’s winning candidate Ramji Prasad Sharma. At that time, NC candidate Hari Prasad Shrestha was restricted to the third place by securing 12,017 votes.

While NC and UML have performed consistently well in Baglung, the Maoists are still on their downward trend, and losing the people’s trust. And if Baglung is any barometer, then this could be a nationwide phenomenon as well.

What is more surprising is that the Maoists have hit rock bottom in a district which is dominated by indigenous people, mainly Magar and Gurung. After they emerged as the largest party in the first CA in 2008, the Maoists were expected to deliver on promises they made to people: writing a new constitution, ending corruption and creating a more equal society.

Having failed to do so, they had lost in the 2013 election. Those who sympathised with the former rebels hoped that the Maoists would now play a constructive role in the constitution making process.

But, the UCPN(M) alliance even with political parties that boycotted the CA elections and their call for disruptive strikes in the past month appears to have cost the party dearly. Political analysts say the Maoists’ own activities – deviation from constitution making and resorting to violence on the streets – have led to their downfall in the Baglung by-election.

Om Astha Rai

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3 Responses to “Maoists lose Baglung by-poll”

  1. namah on Says:


  2. David Seddon on Says:

    more complex process of decline since 2008 – failed their core constituency and everyone else hoping for more

  3. Armugam on Says:

    They must realise that the days of “gun power” is all but over. How many votes you get vis-a-vis others is all that matters.

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