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Provincial capitals yet to be fixed

By Our Reporter
Weeks after the Election Commission made public the final results of the elections to the Provincial Assemblies, the government has been unable to fix the capitals of the provinces and appoint the governors to administer the oath of office to the newly elected members of the provincial assemblies.
Although the Provincial Assemblies themselves have been given the authority to fix their capitals and name the concerned province, the government has to fix the temporary capitals so that the assemblies can convene even to take oath office by the newly elected assembly members and discuss issues relating to their names.
But in lack of consensus among the political parties and disputes among the influential leaders to make their home towns as the capital of the assemblies, the government has been unable to fix the temporary capitals.
Again the leaders during the election included the provincial capital one of the election agendas, which only complicated the situation.
In Province 1, Biratnagar, Dhankuta and Itahari were portrayed as the provincial capital with Dr Shekhar Koirala favouring Biratnagar and Sunil Thapa Dhankuta. However, both Koirala and Thapa lost the election. Bijay Gachchhadar favoured Itahari.
Likewise, the leaders have been divided over Janakpur and Birgunj for the capital of Province 2.
In province 3, Chitwan, Hetauda and Bhaktapur are in race to become the provincial capital. CPN-Maoist Centre boss Pushpa Kamal Dahal wants Chitwan while UML leaders want Hetauda as capital. Similarly. UML-elect lawmaker Mahesh Basnet has been lobbying to make Sanothimi of Bhaktapur the capital of province 3. A technical team of the Urban Development Ministry has already recommended Sanothimi as a suitable capital of province 3.
Pokhara is the undisputed capital of Province 4, Surkhet of province 6 and Dipayal of Province 7. These cities were the headquarters of the erstwhile development regions and have minimum infrastructure to house the ministries of the provinces.
The biggest dispute is in Province 5 with UML secretary Bishnu Poudel trying to make Butwal capital of the province while Krishna Bahadur Mahara of the Maoist Centre has thrown his full strength to make Dang the capital of the Province-5.
These disputes among the influential leaders have also caused delay in announcing the capitals of provinces.

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