Koiralas in bid to ‘revive’ Congress

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 17, 2018-

Ahead of the much-awaited meeting of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Nepali Congress, three members of the Koirala family--General Secretary Shashank Koirala, Shekhar Koirala and Sujata Koirala--have decided to take initiatives jointly to make the party strong by ending factionalism.

The meeting of the leaders from the Koirala family that led the country’s oldest party for much of its existence comes at a time when Sher Bahadur Deuba faces intense pressure to resign as the party chief taking moral responsibility for the NC’s poor showing in the recently concluded House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections. The party’s CWC will meet on Thursday to discuss broader political and internal issues.

According to Shekhar’s personal aide Dinesh Chandra Thapaliya, the three leaders concluded that a “weak” leadership was the major reason for the party’s defeat in the polls. “The three leaders also expressed their displeasure at the festering factional feud in the party,” he said.

The trio agreed that the party must be run on the basis of the principles of institutionalism, rather than the personal views of some leaders tasked with decision making.

They are preparing to present uniform views in the CWC meeting on a wide range of issues.

Of late, Shekhar and Sujata have been critical of the NC leadership while Shashank maintains a conciliatory tone. Shekhar lost the election from Morang-6 while Shashank won the Nawalparsi-3 federal parliament seat. Sujata is a proportional representation candidate for the federal House.

After the poll debacle, Shekhar made a public statement staking his claim to the party presidency. The three leaders share the political legacy with the late Congress veterans BP Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala, who remained at the party helm for nearly seven decades in total.

At a time when the rift between Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel is growing, the three Koiralas have steered clear of factional meetings.

According to NC Office Secretary Krishna Prasad Poudel, the CWC meeting will take place at Prime Minister Deuba’s residence in Baluwatar. This is the first meeting after the two elections in which the party fared very poorly. Pressure had mounted on Deuba to convene the meeting for reviewing the poll results. Soon after the elections, there were voices in the party for convening the CWC but Deuba had been ignoring them.

Besides discussing the current political situation, the meeting will also devise the party’s strategy for the Upper House election and strengthening the party organisation, among others. The meeting will also discuss the possibility of forming electoral alliances with other parties.

The rival faction of the NC led by Poudel and some youth leaders are pressing for a meeting of the Mahasamiti and a special general convention to discuss the leadership issue. Poudel’s team is also demanding dissolution of the Parliamentary Board and Central Executive Committee of the party saying that the due procedure was not followed while forming the party bodies. At the rivalry between Deuba and Poudel grows, the three members of the Koirala clan are preparing to present their separate views.

Published: 17-01-2018 08:03

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