Deuba trounces Poudel to become NC PP leaderMaintaining his winning streak in the party with two victories in a month, Sher Bahadur Deuba has consolidated his hold over the Nepali Congress like never before.
Maintaining his winning streak in the party with two victories in a month, Sher Bahadur Deuba has consolidated his hold over the Nepali Congress like never before.
Deuba, who defeated senior NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel to become the party president in March, defeated Poudel again on Wednesday with a big margin to become the Parliamentary Party (PP) leader. The post of PP leader was lying vacant after the death of Sushil Koirala in February.
Helped by defection of over two dozen leaders of the erstwhile establishment camp, Deuba trounced Poudel by a margin of more than double. Out of 206 total votes cast, Deuba secured 139 votes while 67 ballots were in favour of Poudel. In the election of party president, Deuba had secured 1,822 votes out of 3,120 votes cast in the run-off while Poudel secured 1,296.
Compared to the PP leader election in 2015 in which he was defeated by 16 votes, Deuba’s win on Wednesday comes as manifestation that he has managed to turn the table in the party big time. In 2015, then party president Sushil Koirala had edged out Deuba by 16 votes.
Deuba managed to garner comfortable majority after more than two dozen lawmakers who had voted Koirala in the previous election switched to the Deuba camp.
More responsibilities have come with the victory, Deuba said after he was elected new PP leader. He reiterated that he would take steps to resolve Madhes crisis.
With his victory as the PP leader, Deuba has automatically become the NC’s prime ministerial candidate whenever the party gets a chance to lead the government.
Asked about the possibility of government change, Deuba, however, said: “We are in the opposition now; the role of the opposition is vital to maintain checks and balances.” On appointment of justices at the Supreme Court, Deuba said there should be no political interference in the judiciary.
Admitting defeat, Poudel congratulated Deuba and said win and loss are part of democratic process.
It is learnt that some of his strong supporters had advised Poudel not to contest for
the PP leader saying “it was a losing battle”.
But, Poudel maintained his stance, saying that a faction led by him needs to be kept intact.
Party General Secretary Shashank Koirala and CWC member Shekhar Koirala had advised Poudel to allow unopposed victory for Deuba, who had earlier failed in his two attempts to become the PP leader. Before losing to the late Sushil Koirala, he had lost to the late Girija Prasad Koirala.
The NC is holding the election for the PP Working Committee on Friday.