Nepali Congress Mahasamiti meet extends as leaders remain at odds

  • Poudel, youth leaders press for early conclave
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Dec 21, 2018-

With top leaders of the Nepali Congress struggling to find a middle ground on the amended party statute, frustration is mounting among the Mahasamiti members.

Several bilateral and multilateral talks are under way, along with the party Central Working Committee meeting, at NC headquarters in Sanepa and party Parliamentary Office in Singha Durbar for the past several days failed to reach an agreement on the party’s charter.  

As a result, the meeting--originally scheduled to last five days--is likely to extend for eight days, forcing dozens of frustrated Mahasamiti members to leave Kathmandu in anger. Th Mahasamiti meeting resumed its proceedings at the party office in Sanepa.

After repeated, failed attempts, the party leadership is now discussing a new proposal tabled by party Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi. The meeting was going on till Thursday night. The number of office bearers and their selection model either from election and nomination from the party President was the main bone of contention.

Nidhi has proposed election of two vice-presidents--one from the General Convention and the other to be nominated by the party president. His proposal also calls for three general secretaries, two of whom will be elected and the other nominated by the party president, and seven joint general secretaries.

“Several alternatives are under discussion and we hope to reach a concrete decision by Friday morning,” said party Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma.   

Besides disputes over the amended party charter, there are also calls for an early General Convention to revamp the party structure and prepare for the next elections.

“There is frustration among the participants as party leaders failed to reach an agreement on the party charter,” said NC leader Ram Hari Khatiwada.   

Senior party leader Ram Chandra Poudel and a group of youth leaders led by Gagan Thapa, among others, submitted an 88-page report at the ongoing Mahasamiti meeting calling for an early General Convention.   

Poudel in his letter has urged party President Sher Bahadur Deuba to hold the General Convention in February 2020, proposing a timeframe to re-energise the party organisation across the country, from January 2019.

But party Vice-resident Nidhi immediately dismissed Poudel’s proposal as “personal” and said that it cannot be discussed at the Mahasamiti meeting. 

Similarly, a gathering of NC’s district presidents also urged the party leadership that those who want to contest the elections to the Central Working Committee should be elected from ward level.

Currently, CWC members are automatic representatives at the General Convention without having to contest any elections at local levels. “We have urged the party leadership to amend the party charter to end this provision,” said Madhu Acharya, NC’s Kavre district president.

Earlier on Tuesday, the top leaders had agreed to expand the CWC from the current 88 to 161 in a new set-up, including eight office bearers—one president, two vice-presidents, two general secretaries, two joint general secretaries and one treasurer.

But it was overturned on Wednesday following reservations from some members of the establishment faction. They demanded that one post each should be made inclusive in vice-president, general secretary and joint general secretary.

The establishment faction also opposed to the provision of electing the office bearers apart from treasurer through the General Convention.

Published: 21-12-2018 08:17

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