For Poudel, it depends on what he offers to leadersThe Nepali Congress General Convention date is drawing near, but the establishment faction’s struggle to find a common candidate for the post of party president is far from over.
The Nepali Congress General Convention date is drawing near, but the establishment faction’s struggle to find a common candidate for the post of party president is far from over.
For Acting President Ram Chandra Poudel, there is a lot more to do to get his name officially endorsed for party presidency. And with Sujata Koirala throwing her hat in the ring, situation in the establishment side has but complicated.
Sensing the possibility of not being offered any key position, Sujata on Saturday formally announced her candidacy for the top job. Claiming that she is already too deep into the process, she said it was not possible for her to backtrack on her announcement.
“If I back down this time, women’s leadership in the NC will be pushed back by at least 15 years,” said Sujata, while making her announcement on Saturday. “I gave up the general secretary post during the party’s 12th convention,” she said. “Why should I make sacrifices all the time?”
With Sujata also entering the fray, there are too many party presidential hopefuls in the establishment side now.
General Secretary Krishna Sitaula is so far hell bent on fighting for the post of party president.
Will Poudel be able to convince Sitaula to support him? It depends on what Poudel can offer.
According to NC leader Gagan Thapa, Poudel has not offered anything concrete to Sitaula. If Poudel offers anything concrete, according to leaders, there are chances of an agreement.
Another General Secretary Prakash Man Singh can be taken as an example.
Singh has suggested that he is ready to support Poudel for the post of party president in return for the vice presidency—so that he could be second in command and heir apparent when the next convention is held, according to NC leaders. While no final deal has been reached between Poudel and Singh, according to leaders, Singh is flexible on supporting Poudel “if this keeps the establishment faction united”. Speaking to Post Singh during an interview, Singh indicated as much.
But for Sitaula to clear the way for Poudel, he is also looking forward to the post of party vice president.
This leaves Poudel with his work not only doubled but more complicated, as he needs to manage both Singh and Sitaula—both ready to serve as his deputy in return of their support to Poudel as party president. And there are other leaders in the establishment faction aspiring for plum posts, whom Poudel need to keep happy to make his party presidential bid strong.
Poudel has already assured Shashank Koirala that he would be given general secretary post. Ram Sharan Mahat and Shekhar Koirala too have high hopes for key positions.
According to sources, Poudel has assured Mahat that he will be nominated as the second general secretary after convention. But youth leaders are not happy with Poudel’s unwillingness to offer any key position to youth leaders. “We have been asked to wait for our turn,” said Gagan Thapa.