Congress poll review meeting begins todayA Central Working Committee meeting of the Nepali Congress that begins on Friday is expected to be a stormy affair as rival factions, led by Ram Chandra Poudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula, are set to press the party leadership to take measures for reviving the grand old party.
A Central Working Committee meeting of the Nepali Congress that begins on Friday is expected to be a stormy affair as rival factions, led by Ram Chandra Poudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula, are set to press the party leadership to take measures for reviving the grand old party.
Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba could have a hard time as the CWC meeting will review the NC’s debacle in the elections to the House of Representatives and the provincial assemblies. Of late, the factions led by Poudel and Sitaula have got closer to say that Deuba cannot steer the party in the right direction.
Organised four months after the elections, the meeting will review the election results and devise a new strategy for the party. “We’ll wait and see how party President Deuba presents himself at the meeting. We’re pushing for measures to reform the party,” said CWC member Nabindra Raj Joshi, a Poudel supporter. “We need a clear-cut roadmap to rebuild party from top to bottom.”
With the party experiencing its worst performance in parliamentary elections post-1990, calls are growing for Deuba to resign. Immediately after the two crucial elections, party leaders and cadres had demanded a CWC meeting. Youth leaders, Gagan Thapa at the forefront, pressed the leadership to rebuild the party and reshape its ideology and policies in the context of the party pushed to the opposition bench.
Deuba and his supporters have refused to take sole responsibility for the defeat. He also refused to resign as the party chief. “Competing leaders always forget the contributions made by the party leadership while presenting some weaknesses in a provocative way,” said NC leader Min Bahadur Bishwakarma, a Deuba aide.
The party has already instructed its district committees to prepare a comprehensive report explaining the reasons for the electoral loss. More than 40 committees submitted their reports as of Thursday evening. The district committees have pointed out several reasons for the party’s poor showing. Two of them are the NC’s reluctance to call the Indian blockade of 2015 a “blockade” and intra-party betrayal, according to party sources.
The left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) has also been blamed for the NC’s defeat. Other reasons cited are the lack of agenda to attract voters, delay in selecting party candidates and failure to highlight the positive tasks undertaken by the Congress-led government. Some reports said that the Democratic Alliance formed just before the elections had not been fruitful.
Besides reviewing the elections, preparations are being made to appoint office bearers. Party sources said Deuba still has a firm grip on the party and is likely to propose candidates for the party general secretary, vice-president and the joint general secretary at the CWC meeting.
High on the agenda
Action against those betraying Congress candidates
Appointment of general secretary, vice-president and joint general secretary
Devising the party’s strategy as the opposition