The Himalayan Times, 6 Aug 2017
CPN-MC’s mayoral candidate Renu Dahal has bagged Bharatpur Metropolis. She received 43,127 votes against 42,924 votes cast for Devi Prasad Gyawali of CPN-UML.
Nepali Congress’ Parbati Shah won the post of deputy mayor beating her rival Divya Sharma Acharya of the CPN-UML. While Sharma won with 47,197 votes, Acharya received 39,525 votes.
According to Chief Returning Officer Kabi Prasad Neupane, UML, NC and CPN-MC won 14, 12 and three wards of the metropolis respectively. The metropolis has 29 wards.
The metropolis had witnessed electoral alliance between CPN-MC and Nepali Congress for the top two posts, according to which, the former had fielded Renu Dahal, daughter of CPN-MC Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal for the post of mayor while the latter had fielded Parbati Shah as the deputy mayoral candidate.
Election was held earlier in the metropolis on May 14 in the first round of civic polls. However, some CPN-MC representatives had torn ballot papers on the night of May 28 when vote counting was on, subsequently leading to a halt in vote counting. Of the 29 wards in the metropolis vote counting had been completed in 27. Counting was under way for Ward No 19 when the incident happened.
Following the incident, police had arrested CPN-MC representatives Madhu Neupane and Dronababu Siwakoti. A case was filed against them at the Chitwan District Court. They were later released on bail of 1 lakh rupees each. In the wake of the incident, NC and CPN-MC sought re-election in the ward, but the UML sought continuation of the vote counting process.
The Election Commission had ruled re-election in the ward, but the issue reached the Supreme Court after a case was filed challenging the EC’s decision. The apex court upheld the EC’s decision clearing the way for re-election in Ward No 19, which took place yesterday.
Prior to the re-election in Ward No 19, Gyawali was leading with a difference of 733 votes. However, by the time vote counting had completed in both wards 19 and 20, Renu had taken the lead.
It is said Dahal’s victory was possible after NC cadres who had abstained from voting earlier took part in the re-election this time.