Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Is Top Bahadur Rayamajhi's political future safe in Arghakhanchi after joining Oli faction?

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Butwal, 5 January (2021) - Top Bahadur Rayamajhi is one of the influential leaders in Lumbini Province.

Having won three consecutive elections from Arghakhanchi district since Maoists joined the mainstream, Rayamajhi has now joined Oli faction in Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and become Minister of Energy and Water Resources.

Political circle in Arghakhanchi is rife with different estimates about NCP's new direction after the bifurcation.

Rayamajhi was considered to be close to Dr. Baburam Bhattarai during armed conflict and after Maoists joined the mainstream. After Dr. Bhattarai opened a separate party, Rayamajhi stayed at CPN-Maoist Center under Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda".

Some commentators say that Rayamajhi joined Oli faction to secure his political future seeing that Dahal-Nepal faction is weak in Arghakhanchi.

Even if Rayamajhi jumped ship, former Maoist leaders in Arghakhanchi including NCP District Secretary Thakur Kumar BK, Central Member Sushila Shreepali, Provincial Assembly Members Chham Kumari Khanal and Dharma Bhusal, Chhatradev Village Committee Chairman Ramlal Parajuli are in Dahal-Nepal faction.

Former UML leaders Pitambar Bhusal, Pitambar Saru, Kuldeep Bhusal, Saroj Bhusal and some others too have pledged loyalty to Dahal-Nepal faction.

National Assembly Member Chanda Bahadur Khadka, Constituency-1 Chairman Prakash Gyawali and Office Member Zakir Hussein Ali have joined Oli faction.

Leaders claim that around 80 percent of leaders from former UML are in Oli camp while 60 percent of former Maoists are in Dahal-Nepal faction.

NCP Secretary for Arghakhanchi district Thakur Bahadur BK said that former Maoists will not follow Rayamajhi to join Oli faction.

"People don't care about an individual. Everyone knows that decision to dissolve House of Representatives is a coup. Honest leaders are not with Top Bahadur Rayamajhi. All the activists are in Dahal-Nepal camp. We are strong in the district," BK told Lokantar.

Dilaram Acharya originally belonged to Rastriya Janamorcha and he is active in district politics while remaining in Dahal-Nepal faction. He said that Rayamajhi will win elections even if local leaders have chosen their factions.

Arghakhanchi District Committee Member of NCP Shobhakhar Panthi said that Rayamajhi joined Oli faction because Oli is the visionary leader to take country to right direction.

He said, "After the spilt of NCP Oli faction may lose elections across the country but Rayamajhi will win his constituency in Arghakhanchi. He has developed the district. It doesn't matter to Rayamajhi even if former Maoists fail to join Oli faction."

Leaders loyal to Rayamajhi said that he deserves credit for constructing roads at all local levels and many people love to vote him.

But his challenge is to win support from former colleagues.

Prem Narayan Gaire is close to NCP Chairman (Dahal-Nepal faction) Madhav Kumar Nepal. He claims that leaders and activists are clear on their stance even if Rayamajhi pursued individual interests.

"He is supporting the unconstitutional move to bag the post of minister. No one close to him has joined Oli faction," Gaire told Lokantar.

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