Chaos in Cong over candidates

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 13, 2017-The Nepali Congress is bogged down in an internal dispute over the selection of candidates for proportional representation (PR) category in the provincial and federal parliaments.

According to the election schedule published by the Election Commission, the parties will have to submit the closed list of their PR candidates by Sunday.

In the meeting of the party’s Parliamentary Board on Thursday, Ram Chandra Poudel and Krishna Sitaula, who lead separate factions in the party, complained that NC President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba should give them respectable shares of candidacy. 

According to party leaders, the leaders also expressed their displeasure at the “domination” of Deuba supporters in the Parliamentary Board, which is tasked with picking candidates.

Board member Bal Krishna Khand said the party would select the PR candidates in consensus representing women, Dalits, Janajatis, Madhesis and other marginalised groups in the list.

The meeting saw a heated debate after the Poudel faction claimed 40 percent share in PR candidates while Sitaula demanded 20 percent, according to a leader. 

NC leader Khum Bahadur Khadka also has a separate list of PR candidates. Though Khadka has not come up with the actual number, he is pressing Deuba to select leaders close to him. 

Even if Khadka is ineligible to contest the elections as he was jailed for corruption, he is effortful to regain his strength in the party.

After its formation, the board has held two rounds of meeting to discuss candidates. Each district committee has submitted a long list of aspirants after dispute at the local level. 

On Khadka’s nomination in the board, a leader requesting anonymity said a section of Congress leaders still support him. “Even Deuba cannot bypass him.” As the Congress is busy finalising the names of PR candidates, there has been no meeting of the democratic block on constituency-sharing.

Published: 13-10-2017 07:37

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