Cong opens talks in a bid to close ranksWith party President Sushil Koirala’s demise, questions are being asked both inside and outside the Nepali Congress as to who would become the official candidate from the establishment faction for party presidency and how the party would move forward.
With party President Sushil Koirala’s demise, questions are being asked both inside and outside the Nepali Congress as to who would become the official candidate from the establishment faction for party presidency and how the party would move forward.
Party activities have resumed from Saturday with the end of the mourning period. Earlier, late Koirala himself was preparing to run for a second term for the party presidency.
Acting party Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel, a key contender, has expedited talks with party leaders to get himself endorsed as the official candidate for the post of party president from the establishment side.
Poudel’s chances hinge on how intact the establishment faction remains.
Arjun Nara Singh KC, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Ram Sharan Mahat and Prakash Man Singh are some influential leaders within the faction who also harbour ambitions of leading the party.
But KC could join the Sher Bahadur Deuba camp if he fails to secure the position of general secretary.
Sitaula and Singh, however, want to fight for the top job.
Sitaula is of the view that as the successor of Girija Prasad Koirala, Sushil Koirala became party president in 2010 and that now it is his turn to succeed Sushil Koirala.
Members of the Koirala clan may not jump into the fray for the party presidency, but they certainly are claiming other plum positions, including vice president and general secretary posts.
With many leaders staking claim to same positions, a successful official candidate from the establishment camp will find it hard to satisfy all the key leaders.
Shekhar Koirala has already made it clear that he is not going to fight for party presidency. Shashank Koirala is eyeing the general secretary post. Though Sujata Koirala has publicly been saying she will throw her hat in the ring for the top job, NC leaders describe it as a bargaining chip to secure the post of party vice-president.
Sitaula, an influential leader from the establishment, argues that the establishment side can win big if the leaders stick together. This confidence stems from the fact that the establishment has a monopoly over the selection of GC representatives.
On the other hand, Deuba is trying to get elected unanimously by offering the position of parliamentary party (PP) leader to Poudel, which implies Poudel would also become NC’s prime ministerial candidate in case the incumbent government falls and the Congress party manages to stitch together a coalition. Deuba says that the crisis left by Koirala’s death could be turned into an opportunity to end factionalism in the party.