‘End factions and rebuild party’Ending factionalism and focusing on rebuilding the party was the message for the Nepali Congress leadership from most of the NC members who spoke on Saturday at the ongoing Central Working Committee meeting.
Ending factionalism and focusing on rebuilding the party was the message for the Nepali Congress leadership from most of the NC members who spoke on Saturday at the ongoing Central Working Committee meeting.
For the NC to retain its significance in national politics, they stressed that the party urgently needs ideological clarity, effective organisation, strong leadership and a communication strategy.
Speaking at the CWC meeting that began on Friday, most of the leaders underlined the need for moving ahead by correcting the past mistakes. On Saturday, CWC members Narahari Acharya, Dilendra Badu, Jiwan Bahadur Shahi, Nabindra Raj Joshi, Gururaj Ghimire, Kalyan Gurung, Bir Bahadur Balayer and Hari Prasad Nepal expressed their views on a wide-ranging issues.
On Friday, senior leaders Prakash Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Narayan Khadka expressed their views and strongly criticised Sher Bahadur Deuba’s leadership.
On Saturday, leaders close to Deuba tried to defend the party president arguing that the top leaders were collectively responsible for the party’s loss in the elections. Six of the eight leaders who spoke on Friday and Saturday are from the factions led by Ram Chandra Poudel and Sitaula while the two others— Balayer and Nepal—are close to Deuba. Leaders close to the anti-establishment factions have vehemently criticised Deuba for this failure to steer the party as well as the government.
Acharya highlighted the reasons for the party’s electoral loss and the way forward. He said that along with reviewing the poll results, the NC needs to draft a long-term policy for rebuilding it. Acharya, who is regarded as the party’s ideologue, urged the Congress leadership to prepare a time-bound action plan for accomplishing the remaining tasks, including reshaping of the party organisation to suit the federal structure.
At a time when rival factions are hurling blame on each other for the party’s drubbing in the federal and provincial elections held in November-December last year, Acharya tried to detach himself from factional politics saying that the blame-game would do the party no good.
Talking to reporters after the CWC meeting, Acharya said he would be active in politics with his health condition improving gradually after he suffered a stroke two years ago. The CWC meeting is deliberating the party’s performance in elections and the future directions.
Joshi, who is close to senior leader Poudel, said there was a huge gulf between the NC and the ordinary people, which needs to be bridged through a new policy and programme.
“The party must try to understand the demands, feelings and their views in the changed context,” he said, adding that communist forces had hijacked the NC’s key agendas of nationalism, democracy and socialism.
“We’re failing to sell our agenda as we don’t have an effective communication strategy,” said Joshi. He demanded scrapping the party structures, mainly the Parliamentary Board and the Central Executive Committee, formed against the party statute.
CWC member Balayer, however, defended Deuba saying that all the top leaders including Poudel were collectively responsible for the party’s electoral loss. He blamed the left alliance for the party’s defeat in most of the constituencies.
In a clear hint at Deuba, party leaders have cited the “weak” leadership as a main reason behind the NC’s humiliating defeat. The CWC is expected to fix the date for Mahasamiti meeting, a major demand of the rival factions. After elections, intra-party rivalry has become acute in the NC.