Kathmandu’s new mayor is a K’taka Institute alumnus

Kathmandu: Nepalese rapper Balendra Shah, who was elected mayor of Kathmandu, is said to be an alumnus of the Karnataka Institute of Engineering.

Independent candidate Shah, who holds a degree in structural engineering, garnered 61,767 votes, according to the Nepal Election Commission statement on Thursday.

Popularly known as “Balen”, the new mayor won 23,426 more votes than Sirjana Singh of the Nepalese Congress, who won 38,341 votes.

Kathmandu, the largest metropolitan city, has over 300,000 eligible voters.

Balen holds a master’s degree in structural engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Visvesvaraya, Karnataka, a Nepali daily reported.

According to the country’s Electoral Commission, voter turnout in the May 13 local elections was around 64%.

Besides Balen, Sunita Dangol of CPN-UML won the post of deputy mayor with 68,612 votes. Dangol defeated CPN (United Socialist) candidate Rameshwor Shrestha, who won 23,806 votes.

In the local-level election, a total of 35,034 people’s representatives were elected, including mayors/presidents, deputy mayors/vice-presidents, ward presidents and ward members.

The commission had set a total of 10,756 polling stations and 21,955 centers across the country.

Balen intends to start an infrastructure ambulance to keep the capital’s infrastructure in good condition. In his manifesto, he promised to form a great cosmopolitan valley of Nepa which includes a digital government and an idea bank as well as an innovation center for innovative ideas and creative entrepreneurs.

Likewise, he said he would focus on the development of education, sanitation and waste management as well as the availability of water for all, the preservation of art and culture, increased tourism and pollution control. He said qualified people would get jobs rather than those with degrees.

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