Kathmandu, April 21:
Poll candidates from ethnic communities, sidelined by political parties for long, sprung a surprise this time around, defeating many iconic figures of Nepali politics.
Former Prime Minister and RJP chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa, who had won all three elections, was defeated in Dhanakuta 2 by Maoist Hriaraj Limbu with a margin of 6,867 votes.
RPP chairman Pahsupati Shamsher Rana was in the poll-fray in Sidhupalchok 1 and 3, but was routed by Maoist candidates Rajkumar Shrestha and Dawa Tamang.
Joining the league of newcomers, Lal Bahadur Susling beat former deputy prime minister and UML candidate Bharatmohan Adhikari in Morang 2.
No different was the fate of UML leader and former deputy prime minister KP Sharma Oli, who was in the fray in Jhapa-7. Oli was defeated by another new face, Maoist candidate Bishwadip Lingden.
Janajati leader Purna Singh Rajbanshi defeated Home Minister and central committee member of the NC Krishna Sitaula in Jhapa-3.
Minister for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki was beaten by Padam Bahadur Rai of the CPN-M in Bhojpur-1.
Former finance minister and NC candidate Mahesh Acharya was beaten by Bhimraj Chaudhari Rajbahshi of the MJF. Another former minister and NC candidate Bal Bahadur KC was defeated by Gopal Kirati in Solukhumbu-1.
Former Minister for Physical Planning and Works Chiranjibi Wagle was defeated in Gorkha 1 by by little-known Maoist candidate Parbati Thapa with a record margin of 31,464 votes.
Defeat of some other well-known leaders of well-known parties by ethnic leaders is equally surprising. Jayapuri Gharti of the CPN-M defeated NC leader Madhav Acharya in Rolpa 1, Devi Lal Chaudhary of the CPN-M defeated NC leader Narayan Prasad Saud in Kanchanpur-2 and Akkal Bahadur Thing of the CPN-M defeated UML leader Keshav Badal in Kabhre-2. NC leader Udaya Shamsher Rana was defeated by Maoist Barshaman Pun in Lalitpur-2.
[ KATHMANDU, APRIL 22, 2008, Baishakh 10, 2065 ]