Poles apart for around a decade, Prachanda and Baburam to forge electoral alliance

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’-led CPN Maoist (Center) and Baburam Bhattarai-led Nepal Samajwadi Party have agreed to vie the upcoming general elections with the same election symbol.

“Both [Prachanda and Bhattarai] have verbally agreed to vie for the general elections with the same manifesto and symbol. A written agreement for the same will be signed between two parties by Monday,” according to Bishwa Deep Pandey, chief of the publicity department of the Samajwadi Party.

On Sunday, two chairpersons–Bhattarai and Mahendra Raya Yadav–reached Dahal’s residence to discuss the possibility of forging an alliance for the upcoming general elections.

If things go right till Monday, both parties will contest the election with the election symbol of the Maoist Center—hammer and sickle within a circle.

Viewed as an ideologue of the decade-long Maoist insurgency, Bhattarai had severed ties with the Maoist party in the wake of the constitution promulgation in September 2015, citing ideological differences with the Maoist party in which he served during the conflict. 

Bhattarai then led the Naya Shakti Party in 2016, which later in 2019 merged with Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum led by Upendra Yadav. 

As the Election Commission has asked political parties to register for the upcoming general elections by August 16, both parties are preparing to register with the Commission on Monday following a decisive meeting for consensus.