Poudel faction presses for change in NC leadershipIntra-party rift in the Nepali Congress has widened with the faction led by Ram Chandra Poudel starting to press the party leadership for broad reforms.
Intra-party rift in the Nepali Congress has widened with the faction led by Ram Chandra Poudel starting to press the party leadership for broad reforms.
Leaders close to Poudel organised a separate meeting on Friday where they discussed the issue of leadership change and reforms in the backdrop of the NC’s poll debacle.
Poudel supporters said they will meet again on Monday to devise their strategy. The Poudel faction was of the view that the inefficiency of party President Sher Bahadur Deuba led to the NC’s worst ever showing in the recent elections to the House of Representatives (HoR) and the provincial assemblies.
A couple of days ago, party President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba blamed internal feud for the party’s defeat in the elections, telling leaders and cadres not to blame him solely for the defeat.
“There is an understanding that reforms must begin from the leadership. Some colleagues are of the view that a special general convention should be called to decide on the leadership,” said NC Central Working Committee member Nabindra Raj Joshi.
Leadership is a major agenda of the factional gathering. The Poudel faction is also preparing to stake its claim to the post of Parliamentary Party leader. According to leaders, the faction will push Prakash Man Singh as the next PP leader. Singh, a senior leader supporting Poudel, was elected from Kathmandu-1. Of late, Singh has been a vocal critic of the party leadership.
According to the NC statute, a two-thirds majority of the general convention representatives can change the leadership. The Poudel faction does not have the strength necessary for a change in leadership. “Some friends are of the view that a special general convention should be called immediately. But it’s better to call the meet after reading the mood at the Mahasamiti meeting,” said Joshi. There is pressure on Deuba to call the Mahasamiti meeting. Leaders from the establishment faction say the Mahasamiti meeting will take place within a couple of months. Deuba’s supporters say the Mahasamiti will not discuss issues related to leadership change, nor review the election results.
“It’s not a personal issue but we should focus on reforming the leadership if we want to bring about a change in the party. Even if there is no chance of changing the leadership right away, we can improve it,” said Joshi.
Some youth leaders are also working on a vision paper for what they call rebuilding the party organisation. Their group says the paper will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the Central Working Committee. Deuba is under pressure from the rival faction but leaders close to him hold all the top party leaders responsible for the poor electoral outcome. As the two factions drift apart, General Secretary Shashank Koirala has not taken sides.