Congress puts marginalised communities on the margins

- DEWAN RAI, Kathmandu

Mar 15, 2016-

Nepali Congress, the country’s oldest democratic party, is left with a fewer female representatives in its Central Working Committee. 

Together with one in the office bearer—Sita Devi Yadav who was elected party’s treasurer—the Congress now has 14 female central committee members, down from 17 in the previous committee. Thirteen of them were elected from the reserved quotas, with only one leader being elected from the open category. 

Sujata Koirala and Dina Mahalaxmi Upadhyay were the only women candidates who competed for the Central Committee posts. Koirala, daughter of late Girija Prasad Koirala, secured a place on the CWC polling 1,619 votes in the party’s 13th General Convention. 

The party, under whose leadership the new constitution was promulgated with a provision of 33 percent women, has elected only 17 percent women leaders in its Central Working Committee. 

The party statute has a provision of nominating one additional female leader to the committee. “Women leaders constitute hardly 18 percent representation,” said Pushpa Bhusal, referring to a provision in the party statute. “This is not an exciting results for us.”

Terming this convention “an election convention”, she said, “We did not have time to discuss on party’s policies.” 

Bhusal Kamala Panta, Pushpa Bhusal, Ambika Basnet and Ishwari Pokharel were elected under the women quota for the second time, with Sita Gurung and Ratna Shrestha also retaining their seats. 

More old faces retain their seats in the party’s CWC. Man Bahadur Biswakarma, Jiwan Pariyar and Min Biswakarma were reelected under the Dalit quota, while Ajay Chaurasiya and Mahendra Yadav came in for the second time under Madhesi quota. 

Ananda Dhungana and Ramesh Rijal have been elected CWC members from Province-2, a core Madhes region. In fact, none of the seven provinces has a single representative of Madhesi origin. The provision of reservation was made to guarantee the inclusive representation based on gender, ethnicity and region. However, the country’s grand old party has severely failed to represent marginalised Dalit, women, Janajati and Muslim communities. 

Of the 25 elected CWC members, there are only four new faces--Ramesh Lekhak, Biswa Prakash Sharma, Dhanraj Gurung and Pradip Poudel. While Lekhak, Gurung and Poudel were nominated members in the party’s previous governing body, only Sharma and Poudel are the new faces to make it to the CWC. 

Published: 15-03-2016 08:33

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