Deuba working on key nominationsEight months after his election, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is working to give the party’s central organisation its full shape.
Eight months after his election, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is working to give the party’s central organisation its full shape.
Deuba is said to be preparing to nominate the vice-president, general secretary, joint-general secretary, party spokesperson, and the remaining 10 central committee members.
As per the party’s statute, all the nominations should have been made within six months. Deuba was elected the president by the party’s 13th general convention in March.
Gopalman Shrestha, Khum Bahadur Khadka and Bimalendra Nidhi are said to be shortlisted for the vice-president’s job, considered as the president’s deputy. Since Khadka was jailed after being convicted of corruption, Deuba is said to be prepared to nominate one of the remaining two.
The task, however, is not very easy for the party president. The nomination needs to be endorsed by a majority of the elected Central Working Committee members. While the NC president has about 36 members in his fold and the Ram Chandra Poudel-led team boasts 28 members, Khadka holds the key. Five CWC members close to Khadka could be decisive in the appointment of an office bearer unless the establishment draws members from the rival camp.
On this strength, party insiders say, Khadka will either ask for the general secretary or joint general secretary position for his camp. According to sources, both Nidhi and Khadka are said to be positive about Shrestha being appointed the vice-president.
Shrestha, who was the acting president of the then Deuba-led NC Democratic party, is considered one his strongest supporters. As Shrestha represents the Janajati community, his nomination would make the office bearers’ team more inclusive. Deuba represents the Chhetri community, the general secretary is a Brahmin and Treasurer Sita Devi Yadav is from the Madhesi community.
“I am the senior most leader in the party after the president and leader Poudel. I am confident that my commitment, sacrifice and role in taking the Nepali Congress where it is today will be rewarded,” Shrestha told the Post.
For general secretary, Gyanedra Karki and Purna Bahadur Khadka, considered close to Khum Bahadur, are said to be the front runners. According to sources, Deuba wants to nominate Karki and appoint a joint general secretary close to Khum Bahadur.
If the plan is executed, Karki will be the general secretary while Pushpa Bhusal, from the Khum Bahadur camp, is likely to be the joint general secretary. Some leaders have also suggested that Deuba accommodate Nidhi as a general secretary if Shrestha is made the party chief’s deputy.
According to sources, the Poudel faction is seeking to appoint its joint general secretary stating that the late president Sushil Koirala had given the Deuba camp the post the last time around. But leaders close to Deuba say such offer to Poudel is yet to be discussed in the camp.
“Deuba is reluctant to give the joint general secretary to the Poudel faction since it would leave the establishment side in a minority among the office bearers,” a leader close to Deuba said. Apart from the president, the two other elected office bearers belong to the Poudel camp. Poudel himself has got a senior leader rank, also considered an office bearer.
Deuba also faces an uphill task in filling the remaining central committee vacancies. Among the 21 positions to be nominated at the president’s discretion, Deuba has already picked 11.
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