Nepali Congress plots its revivalNepali Congress has resolved to make sweeping changes within its party organisation after suffering heavy defeat in the three-tier elections held at the local, provinical and national levels last year that saw the Nepal Communist Party rise to power.
Nepali Congress has resolved to make sweeping changes within its party organisation after suffering heavy defeat in the three-tier elections held at the local, provincial and national levels last year that saw the Nepal Communist Party rise to power.
Part of the reason the NC performed poorly in the elections was the electoral alliance between the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre)—the two parties merged to become the NCP in May of this year. But, by and large, it was poor organisational set-up and factionalism that cuased the electoral upset, which many NC leaders have acknowledged and vowed to redress.
The NC leadership has proposed revamping the party as per the federal set-up, and to this end, the party has formed a statute amendment panel to suggest how to restructure the party. “We are planning to set up eight layers of party structure at the central committee as well as the booth committee,” said Pradeep Poudel, a panel member.
The panel has also proposed increasing the number of party office bearers at the centre from the existing six to ten.
Currently, the NC office bearers comprise of a party president, a vice president, two secretary generals, a joint secretary general, and a treasurer. The panel has recommended creating one more vice president’s post and three secretary generals.
Poudel said the panel has also suggested increasing the number of central committee members from 85 to 131.
“The panel’s recommendation would be approved during the upcoming Mahasamiti meeting of the party,” Poudel said. The meeting has been scheduled for November 21-25 in Kathmandu.
The panel has also proposed for an eight-layer set-up at the local level, ensuring 33 percent women representation and participation of marginalised and underprivileged groups at all party layers.
“We have yet to discuss and agree on what kind of duties, rights and responsibilities are to be entrusted once the proposed eight-layer structure has been adopted,” said Poudel.
Besides, the NC has also constituted a task force under Secretary-General Purna Bahadur Khadka to collect feedback and suggestions from party workers and supporters on restructuring.
According to Poudel, the issue of changing the existing organisational set-up of the party is not even a debate at this point.
The heart of the matter, according to him, is whether the party should continue to remain a mass-based party or transform into a cadre-based one like other communist forces. The debate is raging at the leadership as well as the cadre level. Whether the party should issue multiple memberships or single membership to those interested to join and work with the party remains undecided.
While some leaders have suggested that the NC should retain its identity of a mass-based party and issue only active memberships, others are for adopting a cadre-based model with multiple membership facilities.