Congress a divided house over PP leaderThe post of Parliamentary Party (PP) leader has become a major bone of contention among the rival factions in the Nepali Congress.
The post of Parliamentary Party (PP) leader has become a major bone of contention among the rival factions in the Nepali Congress.
After party’s humiliating defeat in recently concluded elections to the House of Representatives (HoR) and Provincial Assembly (PA), Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba is under pressure to keep the party united with equal power-sharing inside the party. Mainly, the faction led by senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel is demanding restructuring of the party organisations.
The faction has already demanded dissolution of the Parliamentary Board, claiming that it was formed against party’s statute.
However, party President Deuba has refused to dissolve the board. Party’s top leader Shekhar Koirala has already said he would quit as a board member. The Poudel faction has laid claim to the post of PP leader which has led to division within the Deuba camp.
Some leaders are of the view that if Poudel faction claims the PP posts, Deuba must propose General Secretary Shashank Koirala as a PP leader. Koirala, who was elected general secretary from the Poudel camp in 2016, is maintaining a neutral position in the party. Of late, Koirala is not attending meetings called by both the Deuba and Poudel factions.
Other leaders, however, maintain that Deuba himself should continue with the post of PP leader. The Poudel faction has pushed the name of Prakash Man Singh who was elected from Kathmandu-1 in the recent federal parliament elections. Of late, Singh
is publicly criticising Deuba for the party’s defeat in the elections.
As senior leader Poudel, Shekhar Koirala and Ram Sharan Mahat lost in the elections, Shrestha remains the top leader from the Koirala camp.
The NC managed to win only 23 constituencies in the elections, with both the Deuba and Poudel factions holding equal strength. However, the Deuba faction has since consolidated its position in the party as it dominated in selecting proportional representation (PR) candidates.
At the same time, voices that young leaders should get the position of PP leader are getting louder. The party will pick its PP leader after the National Assembly elections on February 7. The PP leader will serve as the leader of the main opposition.