Singh, Sitaula seek early conventionRaising serious questions over Sher Bahadur Deuba’s leadership as the party president, Nepali Congress senior leaders Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Prakash Man Singh have demanded a general convention at the earliest to decide on leadership change.
Raising serious questions over Sher Bahadur Deuba’s leadership as the party president, Nepali Congress senior leaders Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Prakash Man Singh have demanded a general convention at the earliest to decide on leadership change.
Speaking at the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting that began in the Capital on Friday, both the leaders said the party convention should be held as soon as possible by amending the party statute through a Mahasamiti meeting. The duo also urged Deuba either to amend his working style or step down as the party chief. Deuba was elected the party president in March 2016 and has two years of his tenure remaining.
Both the leaders heavily criticised several decisions taken by Deuba as party president and as prime minister, stating that he had complete monopoly over decision-making and that his decisions were “unpopular and controversial”.
Both Singh and Sitaula, who represent two rival factions of the party, blamed then-PM Deuba’s “weak leadership” for the party’s humiliating defeat in the federal and provincial elections held in November-December last year. Singh not only asked Deuba to resign after the poll debacle but also stood against him in the Parliamentary Party election.
Presenting a written document at the meeting, Singh attributed a weak organisation, ideological and policy ambiguities and inefficient leadership as the major reasons behind the NC’s worst electoral showing ever. He also demanded a meeting of the Mahasamiti to take decisions on the party ideology, policies and programmes and organisational issues.
With Deuba preparing to appoint office bearers, Singh argued that there was no need for such appointments any more. “The appointments and formation of party departments should have taken place within two months of the general convention,” he said. In his political document, Singh said Deuba committed mistakes on the foreign policy front too.
Deuba’s participation as the NC president in a programme organised by India Foundation, a think tank close to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, in Goa in 2016 where Deuba reportedly shared the stage with Lobsang Sangay, chief of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile, was detrimental to cordial relations with Nepal’s neighbours, according to Singh.
Senior leader Sitaula also pressed for the general convention to take decisions on leadership change while criticising both Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel for failing to lead the party effectively.
Arbitrary distribution of election tickets and the lack of financial transparency were other reasons behind the party’s defeat, according to Sitaula. Hinting at Deuba, Sitaula said, “You could capture the party but communist forces are capturing state power.”
CWC member Narayan Khadka said factional politics must end for the party to get a fresh impetus. “Factional politics must end today if we want to rebuild the party,” he remarked.
The CWC, called four months after the elections, is expected to set the date for Mahasamiti meeting having reviewed the election results.