Congress, NLF to seal unification deal today

- Post Report, Kathmandu
According to informed sources, Gachhadar will be given the post of secretary general under the nominated quota, while other 20 top NLF leaders will be allotted a seat in the NC Central Working Committee

Oct 16, 2017-The much-awaited unification between the Nepali Congress and the Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar-led Nepal Loktantrik Forum will take place on Monday. The parties were supposed to announce their merger at a press conference at Baluwatar on Sunday evening, but the function was postponed due to some technical reasons.

“A function to announce the party unification will now take place on Monday morning,” Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said. 

Leaders of the two parties had weighed in several options for the unification over several rounds of talks in the past, including the one switching Gachhadar to the Home Ministry. 

According to informed sources, Gachhadar will be given the post of secretary general under the nominated quota, while other 20 top NLF leaders will be allotted a seat in the NC Central Working Committee with some others assured of positions in various NC departments. 

The unity between the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) has mounted pressure on the NC to widen its political base, while the NLF was desperate to consolidate its position after the two Madhes-based forces—Rastriya Janata Party Nepal and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum—decided to forge an alliance in the plains.

Ahead of the party unification, the two parties had submitted a joint list of candidates under the Proportional Representation at the Election Commission on Sunday. Gachhadar has had a series of talks with Deuba and other Congress leaders on the matter.

A former Congress leader, Gachhadar had won elections in 1991, 1994 and 1999 under the NC banner. He joined Madhesi Janadhikar Forum led by Upendra Yadav in 

2008 after being expelled by the NC.

He won the 2008 Constitution Assembly Election with the MJF. But he split with Yadav a year later and formed his own party—Nepal Loktantrik Forum (Democratic). Gachhadar won the 2013 Constitution Assembly Election from Sunsari-3 representing the NLF.

The latest alliance between the Upendra Yadav-led Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum and the Rastirya Janata Party Nepal has put pressure on NLF (D) to join the alliance to be led by the NC. 

Meanwhile, amid talks of unification between the NC and the Nepal Loktantrik Forum, a faction of the party led by Co-chair Shivalal Thapa has decided not to be part of the merger deal. “Although we are holding talks, we will not go for a merger deal,” Thapa told the Post on Sunday. 

Thapa’s Rastriya Janamukti Party (Loktantrik) had earlier merged with Gachhadar’s Forum Loktantrik. 

Claiming that his side had the support of a majority of 335-member central 

committee, Thapa said they would contest the elections from the Forum Loktantrik even if the other faction merges with the NC. Most of the party leaders, who joined the Forum Loktantrik six months ago, are against the unification with the Congress.

Published: 16-10-2017 08:14

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