4-day Cong General Convention beginsThe 13th General Convention (GC) of the Nepali Congress formally began on Thursday with the inaugural session at Khula Mancha in the Capital, where party presidential hopefuls projected their visions as to how they are going to lead the oldest party of the country.
The 13th General Convention (GC) of the Nepali Congress formally began on Thursday with the inaugural session at Khula Mancha in the Capital, where party presidential hopefuls projected their visions as to how they are going to lead the oldest party of the country.
Party Acting President Ram Chandra Poudel inaugurated the jamboree attended by hundreds of NC leaders and cadres and well wishers, along with political leaders from various parties from home and abroad.
Around half a dozen leaders aspiring for the major positions in the Central Working Committee utilised the opportunity to woo their voters publicly, claiming that each of them were the most capable to lead the party in the changing context.
All of the leaders claimed that implementation of the new constitution, reconstruction of the earthquake wrecked structures, addressing the concerns of the Tarai/ Madhes and improving ties with the neighbouring countries would be their main agenda if they were elected.
Each of them, however, sought to project themselves as better leaders than the others when it came to implementing those agendas.
Addressing the session, Poudel, party’s presidential candidate from the establishment faction, said that the image of the party leadership has been tarnished after failing to keep up with the changing context. He said some self-centred leaders who put personal interests above the party and the country are responsible for the deteriorating image of political parties.
“We need to change that perception, and only the NC can do that,” he said. “Therefore, I request you to elect a competent person.” He spent a considerable amount of time urging the party representatives to evaluate the contribution of the leaders and provide them with the opportunities they deserve.
Around 3,500 participants of the party, including 3,170 delegates, have gathered in the Capital for the GC which will elect the new CWC with party president, general secretary and treasurer.
Senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also running for party presidency, said the challenge for the new leadership is not only uniting the NC but also taking all the political parties together for the implementation of the constitution and taking the country towards the path of prosperity.
Stating that the new constitution has laid the foundation for stability, Deuba said it’s now time for economic revolution. “Only strong leadership in our party can accomplish the twin tasks of constitution implementation and economic revolution,” he said. He added that the new leadership in the NC will address the grievances of Madhesi people and strengthen the relation with the southern neighbour.
General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, who is another aspirant for the post of party president, during his address, came down heavily on other leaders, terming them “petty”. He cautioned voters, saying “these petty leaders will not only ruin the party but also the country”.
He stressed on the need to review the party policy and asked the party cadres to play a decisive role.
“The age of imposing decision from the centre has ended. Now, we should listen to the bottom (cadres) and adapt ourselves,” he said.
Sitaula offered himself as the true heir of the late leaders Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala. He also took the opportunity to reiterate the role he played in the 12-point agreement to bring then rebel Maoist party into mainstream politics.
General Secretary Prakash Man Singh and Treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav also urged the cadres to elect the leaders who can lead the party and the entire country. The four-day NC convention will conclude on Monday, electing its 74-member CWC for the next four years.
Leaders from various parties, including CPN-UML Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, said they wanted to see a new leadership in the NC, which is committed to the betterment of country both in words and deed.