Karna Singh Rawal

DADELDHURA:  Why does someone run for election? “To win” would be the obvious answer, but not for this octogenarian from Dadeldhura.

Karna Singh Rawal, 80, of Amargadhi Municipality-2 filed nominations in all three elections, including the two Constituent Assembly polls, since 1999 despite knowing that he never stood a chance.

Why?

Rawal says he just wants to stand for election against Sher Bahadur Deuba, the president of the Nepali Congress and the prime minister.

When the election offices started taking nominations for the second phase of federal and provincial elections on November 2, Rawal was the first person to file his papers as an independent candidate for the federal parliament.

“I will stop filing nomination when Deuba stops standing for election from the district,” says Rawal. When he was asked to withdraw nomination and support Deuba by the NC activists, he had said: “I will but only if Deuba withdraws.” Rawal did not withdraw his candidacy and he is the only independent candidate in the district, according the list of candidates on the Election Commission’s website. As far as party allegiance is concerned, Rawal, interestingly, is a Congress loyalist.

Rawal’s candidacy, however, has hardly made any difference to Deuba, who is one of the few leaders who have won all five elections since 1991, in any of the past elections. In 1999 general elections, Rawal had secured 200 votes. In the two Constituent Assembly elections, he even failed to get 100 votes.

Even his family members do not vote for him. “I seek votes from those who are Deuba’s voters,” says the retired office assistant of District Land Revenue Office, Dadeldhura.

According to Rawal, he had supported Deuba in the first two elections in 1991 and 1994. When asked whether he holds any grudge against Deuba, he said he is dissatisfied with his aides.

“They [aides] once took away my job,” says Rawal stopping short of giving details. “I won’t stop contesting until Deuba runs for election from this district. I will make sure Deuba always has an opposition,” he quips.

–  By Mohan Budhair for TKP

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