Deuba, Singh all set for PP leader race

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 25, 2018-

Despite calls from party members to select the Parliamentary Party leader in consensus, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Prakash Man Singh are in the race for PP leader.

In the first joint PP meeting of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly on Saturday, Singh announced that he would compete for the post. Earlier, Deuba had made efforts to be the undisputed PP leader.

Besides, General Secretary Shashank Koirala had also expressed his desire to become the PP leader if there was consensus in his name. Koirala pulled out of the 

race when he saw no such possibility.

Deuba and Singh will contest for the PP leader in a poll likely to take place on Tuesday. A meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC), which has been scheduled for Sunday, is likely to fix the date for election. A majority of lawmakers who spoke in Saturday’s meeting underlined the need for selecting the PP leader in consensus, arguing that conducting a vote to select the PP leader would send a negative message across to party leaders and cadres.

“A majority of the leaders were of the view that there must be consensus to select the PP leader for the sake of party unity,” said lawmaker Bhimsen Das Pradhan. Singh, who belongs to the faction led by senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel, is reaching out to party lawmakers for their votes. According to Congress leaders, Deuba’s position is strong. Lawmakers who spoke in the meeting stressed that there should be a healthy competition even if there is no consensus candidate.

The meeting endorsed a draft statute related to PP leader election, governing party’s parliamentary affairs and electing a working committee under the Parliamentary Party. The new statute will address provisions related to the bicameral parliament and women’s representation. The draft will be presented at the CWC meeting on Sunday for endorsement. The PP leader election process will begin after the statute is endorsed.

The meeting also discussed formation of various thematic committees to monitor the works of ministries at the centre and the provinces. There will be separate party committees to monitor the activities of ministries at the centre and the local level. The next meeting is likely to decide on the agenda of forming the shadow government, according to leaders.

In the meeting, some leaders criticised the leadership for the party’s poor showing in the elections. President Deuba defended the leadership saying that all the leaders are collectively responsible for the defeat in the federal and provincial elections.

“We lost the elections due to the alliance between the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre). The votes we secured under the proportional representation (PR) category show that our vote bank is intact,” Pradhan quoted Deuba as telling the meeting. Deuba, however, underlined the need for reviewing the election results from the grassroots level, including reports of intra-party betrayal. The PP meeting also thanked Deuba and his Cabinet for successfully concluding the three-tier elections.

Published: 25-02-2018 07:57

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