All eyes on Deuba as CWC meets shortly

- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu
Agendas :- Government’s performance- Basis for constitution amendment- Local body restructuring

Oct 15, 2016-Following intense pressure from within, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has called a meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee next week to discuss the government’s performance, constitution amendment and local body restructuring before holding the polls.

The meeting of the major coalition partner and the largest party in Parliament to be held on October 20 in Sanepa is seen as a testing time for the party president especially when several leaders including Ram Chandra Poudel and Prakash Man Singh have publicly voiced their dissatisfaction at Deuba for not involving them in decision-making. Leaders from the Poudel faction in particular have accused Deuba of taking crucial decisions unilaterally.

Some leaders have claimed that the NC is turning a blind eye to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s alleged plans to distribute billions of rupees to CPN (Maoist Centre) cadres through the Peace and Reconstruction Ministry in the name of relief to the conflict victims. NC Treasurer Sita Devi Yadav holds the portfolio.

Other leaders have rued the party’s inability to explain the rationale behind using Ilakas (unit areas) as the basis for restructuring the local bodies. When the Local Level Restructuring Commission had earlier tentatively proposed 565 local units across the country, the NC had in particular urged the LLRC to carve out at least 1000 units.

A recent agreement between the Maoist Centre, the NC and the CPN-UML to consider the boundaries of the existing 925 Ilakas has compelled the commission to start all over again, raising questions whether the body will be able to submit its report by November for the Election Commission to hold the local polls around March-April next year.

Though several NC leaders have publicly expressed their views on a compromise for amending the constitution as demanded by the Madhesi and Janajati forces, the party’s official stance has not been clear.

“Since we have not sat together in a while to discuss some of these very crucial political agendas, our president has called the meeting to hear our views,” said NC leader Gyanendra Karki.



PM, NC boss differ on state minister seats

Kathmandu: The Nepali Congress is struggling to appoint its state ministers after failing to come to an understanding with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on the number of berths. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba has reportedly asked for nine state ministerial positions to settle the growing number of aspirants within his party. But Dahal is reluctant to pay heed to Deuba’s demand, urging the Congress chief to settle for eight.

PM Dahal is said to be unwilling to give the NC more than half the ministerial berths it holds. The largest party has 15 ministers in the Dahal-led Cabinet. But the prime minister is ready to offer the coalition partner an additional ministry from among the four set aside for other parties willing to join the government.

“The party president is working to send them as soon as possible. I cannot give an exact timeframe as to when we will be able to send them,” said NC leader Gyanendra Karki, a leader close to Deuba.

Deuba will not only have to settle a growing number of aspirants within the establishment camp but he also faces pressure to fulfil the Ram Chandra Poudel-led faction’s demands to hand it at least half of the total state ministerial berths. 

Khum Bahadur Khadka and Krishna Prasad Sitaula have also sought to appoint their loyalists as state ministers. (PR)

Published: 15-10-2016 07:56

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