Leaders hope district chiefs’ meet heals riftA three-day national gathering of the Nepali Congress district presidents kicked off in Hetauda on Tuesday.
A three-day national gathering of the Nepali Congress district presidents kicked off in Hetauda on Tuesday.
The much-awaited assembly comes at a time when various factions of the party blame the NC leadership for its defeat in the federal and provincial elections held last year.
Disgruntled groups of senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and former general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula have demanded that party President Sher Bahadur Deuba take responsibility for the electoral drubbing.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the gathering, Deuba admitted that the NC had become weak as he and the party failed to focus much on the elections as they were busy with the constitution implementation process.
Deuba, however, argued that the NC may have lost the battle but not its “ground”. “Some colleagues have been voicing dissatisfaction. I have taken some of their views positively. But some of the issues have been exaggerated,” Deuba said in his inaugural speech. He promised to devote himself to the party, the country and democracy.
Stating that the recent merger between the two ruling communist parties had posed greater challenge to the party, Deuba urged the party rank and file to join hands to strengthen the NC’s organisation. He accused the KP Sharma Oli-led government of trying to impose an authoritarian communist rule.
At the function, NC leaders questioned the leadership about disunity in the party. Citing “animosity” within the NC, Poudel stressed the need for “emotional unity” in the party. “You [district presidents] know well where the problem lies. You are the ones who work with the party cadres. You should play your roles for intra-party unity,” Poudel told the assembly.
NC Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi, General Secretary Shashank Koirala, leader Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and NC Makwanpur President Indra Bahadur Baniya addressed the gathering.
The district presidents’ assembly is expected to provide suggestions for amending the party statute, which is a must for giving the NC organisation a federal shape. Poudel, Sitaula and their groups have been pressing for the Hetauda gathering to schedule the party’s Mahasamiti meeting.
In his speech, Deuba said that preparing for party statute amendment is the main agenda of the gathering. “Various party organisations will be formed shortly while the Mahasamiti meeting amends the party charter,” he added.
Deuba is losing his grip on the party with the rival factions registering their victory in the recent general conventions of the NC sister organisations one after another.