7 November, Surkhet. Nepali Congress leader Devendra Bahadur Shahi, who was defeated in the House of Representatives by the Left Alliance candidate in the 2074 election, wanted to contest the provincial assembly this time. He demanded the party leadership to give him ticket saying that Jumla Pradesh Sabha (1) was lost last time due to infighting within the party after fall of Congress and this time victory was assured due to alliance.
But Lalitjung Shahi, who was the state president of the Congress, himself entered the election field with the claim of the Chief Minister. The party did not give ticket to Devendra. Another reason for not getting the ticket was the differences in the party.
Lalitjung is leading the establishment party in Jumla Congress, while the other party is being led by the outgoing District President Deep Bahadur Shahi. Devendra is also the leader of other factions in the organization.
On not getting the ticket, Devendra, standing as a rebel candidate against Lalitjung, defeated Lalitjung, the general candidate of the ruling coalition. He won by getting 1 thousand 899 votes more than Lalitjung. 24,788 votes were polled in this constituency. In which independent candidate Devendra has got 9 thousand 654 votes while 7 thousand 755 votes have come in favor of the defeated Shahi.
The party has taken action against Devendra, who is also a member of the Congress General Committee. Devendra says that the party leadership has done injustice to him and the public has responded to it.
He says, ‘Vice Chairman Purna Bahadur Khadka did not believe me. People have respected my sacrifice, hard work and honesty. The party and the leaders did not agree, the public won and drove them away.
Responding to the wrong decisions of the leadership
District level leaders say that another reason for the victory of rebel Devendra in Jumla was the wrong decision of the leadership. Leaders believe that this result has come when the top leadership gives tickets on the basis of reach and factions instead of giving tickets to popular leaders. “This is the result of the top leadership not giving tickets to the right leaders,” says a district committee member of the Congress.
Lalitjung, the contender for the post of Chief Minister of Karnali State, was on the verge of an easy victory under the cover of the alliance. With the support of the CPN-Maoist Center and the United Socialists, he was expected to win the election despite dissent within the party.
But Devendra took advantage of the fierce factionalism within the Congress-Maoists. Jumla has a stronger organization than the Congress. Another group within the Maoist helped Devendra, who was supported by others in the establishment. Leaders say that there are three factions within the Maoists.
Congress leaders say that an undeclared alliance has been formed against the ruling coalition in Jumla. Leaders of that undeclared alliance include the Congress establishment, a group of Maoists and the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP). Leaders believe that this alliance has given victory to Gyanendra Shahi in the House of Representatives and independent candidates in the Provincial Assembly.
Congress rebel Rajusinh Kathait was elected mayor of Chandannath municipality in the local election last Baisakh as the establishment party did not give tickets to others. Leaders say that the victory of independent party’s rebel Devendra happened when the leadership made mistakes in the provincial assembly as well.
Who is Devendra Shahi?
Born on 10 October 2019 in Barkotwara of Jumla Chandannath Municipality, Devendra Bahadur Shahi started his political journey in 2046 from the National People’s Front. He turned to politics from a construction businessman and joined the Nepali Congress in 2058.
Devendra, who considers former president of Congress Jumla Manav Sejuwal as his political guru, says that it was because of him that he joined Congress. He also became a member of the District Working Committee, Treasurer and General Committee of the Congress.
He was defeated by Gajendra Mahat of the CPN-Maoist Center in the 2074 election. Leaders say that Devendra, who created an honest and sensible image in the district, will leave a good impact at the local level by winning the independent elections.