General

Congress defers central working panel meeting indefinitely

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Party does not cite reason, but observers believe the widening rift between rival factions is the cause

Oct 11, 2018-The Nepali Congress has postponed Thursday’s Central Working Committee meeting until further notice.

The party has not mentioned any reason in a statement issued by its Chief Secretary Krishna Poudel,

but the widening rift between rival factions in the NC is believed to be behind the postponement.

The main opposition has plunged into a serious dispute over the charter of its sister organisation, Nepal Student Union, and whether to allow more power to party president or not.

After the establishment faction led by party President Sher Bahadur Deuba approved the NSU charter with a majority vote at the last CWC meeting on Sunday, two rival factions of senior party leader Ram Chandra Poudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula raised serious reservations to it and registered notes of dissent against the decision to put the 35-year ceiling on contesting the elections to the NSU central working committee and other subordinate bodies. The NC’s student wing is seeking endorsement of its charter for holding its 12th General Convention scheduled for November 2-4.

Along with Poudel and Situala, two other leaders—Prakashman Singh and Arjun Narsingh KC—also registered notes of dissent against the establishment faction’s “unilateral” decision.

NSU leaders from the Poudel and Sitaula factions have accused the Deuba camp of creating disharmony in the organisation after losing its footing in other sister organisations.

With the age limit for contesting the elections set at 35 years, many student leaders aspiring to run for various top positions will be out of the leadership race.

Protesting the establishment faction’s decision, Poudel and Situala have warned that they will boycott the CWC meeting until the NSU charter row is resolved.

“We did not have much objection to the content of the new charter. But Poudel and Sitaula raised serious reservations to the way the party president imposed the new charter and announced its approval at the CWC meeting,” said Pradeep Poudel, a CWC member close to Sitaula.

Rather than presenting the new charter prepared by the NSU itself, Poudel explained, NC President Deuba presented the one drafted by party Joint Secretary General Prakash Sharan Mahat. Mahat was assigned by Deuba to settle NSU’s internal disputes and present a charter based on consensus. “But, instead of resolving the disputes, Mahat presented a new charter with a provision of 35-year cut off age to contest the elections,” Poudel said.

Senior party leaders Poudel and Sitaula had demanded a few more days to hold discussions on the content of the new charter in order to settle the internal differences. But Deuba and his team refused that, said Poudel.

Published: 11-10-2018 08:18

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