Deuba takes up NC mantle, vows unityIn what can be described as swift decision-making, something Sher Bahadur Deuba had promised before his election as the Nepali Congress president last week, he nominated seven members in the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC), the apex body of the party.
In what can be described as swift decision-making, something Sher Bahadur Deuba had promised before his election as the Nepali Congress president last week, he nominated seven members in the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC), the apex body of the party.
In his first act after taking up the mantle of the party leadership on Wednesday, Deuba also sought to live up to his another promise of ending factional politics inside the party and nominated five members from rival panels.
Deuba on Wednesday nominated Ram Chandra Poudel, who ran against him for the post of party presidency, as a CWC member.
Poudel is likely to be accorded the position of “senior leader”, which was occupied by Deuba himself since 2007. “Poudel is the seniormost leader among the elected office bearers, so he is likely to be nominated as the senior leader of the party,” said Prakash Sharan Mahat, who is close to Deuba. After the merger of two Congress parties in 2007, then NC president Girija Prasad Koirala had nominated Deuba as senior leader. Later in 2010, when Sushil Koirala defeated Deuba in the party presidential election, Deuba continued as senior leader.
Poudel was serving as acting party president after the death of Sushil Koirala ahead of the 13th General Convention of the party.
Krishna Prasad Sitaula, who secured the third position in the first round of election for the post of party president, has also been nominated to the CWC. Similarly, Gagan Thapa and Arjun Narsingh KC who lost to Shashank Koirala in the election of general secretary have been appointed as CWC members. Chitra Lekha Yadav and Uma Kanta Chaudhary, who were candidates for the post of treasurer, have also been nominated.
Narahari Acharya, who failed to attend party’s convention after falling ill immediately after the death of Sushil Koirala, has also been nominated to the CWC. Breaking the tradition, Deuba has also taken a “liberal approach” while making nominations. In the Congress party, there was a tradition of nominating candidate(s) of party president and general secretary as CWC members. “This time, the party president has taken a liberal approach and nominated all who were defeated in the election of party president,” said Mahat. “The move is aimed at cementing party unity.”
According to NC statute, party president can nominate 21 CWC members, including women and those from Madhesi, Dalit and other marginalised communities. Now, Deuba will have to nominate remaining 14 CWC members, including one vice-president, one general secretary and one joint general secretary.
Sixty-four CWC members were elected through direct election, and 38 of them are said to be close to Deuba, giving the new party president a comfortable majority in the party’s apex body.
Speaking at a programme at the party headquarters in Sanepa after assuming the role of new leader of the party, Deuba said his “sole purpose as the party president is cementing party unity”.
“I will unite the party by ending all forms of factional politics,” Deuba said. “We have promulgated a new constitution, but there are some issues related to demarcation raised by Madhes-based parties. These issued need to be addressed for the implementation of constitution,” said Deuba. Poudel said he was happy to hand over the party leadership to Deuba.