Congress Mahasamiti to discuss pressing issues

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Dec 15, 2018-

One year after a major electoral defeat, the grand old party—Nepal Congress—is holding its 12th Mahasamiti meeting from Saturday. The jamboree will discuss dozens of issues related to the party’s diminished position, future course of action and reshaping the party in the federal set-up while directing the leadership on political and economic policies.

The NC leadership stands to face a string of criticisms from party representatives on the poll debacle, and widening factional rift. The 1,600-strong body is split over several issues such as religion and federalism.

Participants’ registration, distribution of the documents to be discussed at themeeting and other logistics began on Friday.

Some Congress leaders are set to bring up the issue of religion at a time when party General Secretary Shashank Koirala is demanding restoration of Nepal as a Hindu state. Party insiders say the issue is likely to be hotly debated.

Senior NC party leaders have already exchanged heated arguments on the election debacle. Another group of leaders led by Gagan Thapa is coming up with a separate proposal on pressing party matters.

Another contentious issue the Mahasamiti is taking up is the number of office bearers in the new set-up. Two factions led by President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel have agreed to increase the number of office bearers from six to 11.

But they have yet to agree on the number of office bearers to be elected and nominated by the party president. Leaders representing both the factions held several rounds of meeting on Friday to find common ground, said party Spokesman Bishwa Prakash Sharma.

Mahasamiti members are set to bring up issues like the new party charter, festering factional feud and the failure to play the role of an effective opposition at the party forum. Two primary documents—political and economic proposals of the party—are likely to be vigorously discussed.

According to Sharma, the Mahasamiti members have already arrived in Kathmandu representing 240 constituencies, central committee members and sister organisation representatives, representatives from the public liaison committees stationed abroad and observers. Deuba will inaugurate the jamboree on Saturday.

According to Sharma, five different documents were presented to the Central Working Committee. The political document, organisational report, statute amendment draft, economic policy and internal financial report of the party will be discussed in the five-day meeting that started on Friday.

After inauguration, the Mahasamiti members would be divided into seven provincial groups to study and discuss these documents.

The party is spending over Rs10 million for the meeting. No donation was sought from anyone for the event, said Sharma. The party will provide breakfast, lunch and some snacks while the participants will have to arrange for dinner and accommodation by themselves, he added.

Published: 15-12-2018 08:40

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