Gagan Thapa says he will contest for Congress general secretaryThe central member of the party had contested for the post during the last general convention in 2016 as well.
Gagan Thapa has announced his candidacy for the post of party general secretary, as the Nepali Congress gears up for its 14th general convention.
Thapa said on Monday that he would contest for the party general secretary post. His announcement follows Bimalendra Nidhi’s announcement on Friday that he would fight for the party president, the post Sher Bahadur Deuba is trying to repeat for one more term.
Thapa, a Central Committee member, had contested for the same post in the last general convention as well and was pitted against Arjun Nursingh KC, his father in-law, and Shashank Koirala. Koirala won.
Thapa announced his candidacy at a gathering of party members in Kathmandu Ward No. 30 Monday, according to his personal aide Shailesh.
“This is my official announcement. What can be a more holy place than my ward to make such an announcement,” said Thapa at the function. “I have been successful in every move I made from this place.”
The Congress is holding its general convention on November 25-29. However, conventions at ward levels would start from September 3, in a move by the party so as to save it from getting invalidated.
As per legal and constitutional obligations, the party cannot cross the September 8 deadline of holding the general convention.
The Nepali Congress had conducted its 13th general convention in March 2016.
As per the party charter, the party must have held its general convention by March 2020, but it could not do so due to political and technical reasons including the Covid-19 pandemic. Then the party’s Central Committee meeting extended the terms of all elected bodies by a year. But the party could not hold the convention in March 2021.
As per the constitutional provisions, the terms and mandates of the all elected bodies were extended for six months, which means the party cannot exceed the September deadline.
The party had earlier announced the convention for September 1-4 in Kathmandu. But due to the pandemic, the row over active membership, and factional feud made it impossible for the party to meet the deadline.
The party then postponed its convention to November, but to avoid the risk of being invalidated, it said it would start local level conventions starting September 3.
With factional feud rife in the Congress, with at least three camps–led by Deuba, senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and former general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula–flexing their muscles, a tough fight is expected during the upcoming convention.
Thapa has not announced from which panel he will contest. He, however, is considered close to Situala.
For the party president post, around half a dozen aspirants are in the Congress.
Senior leader Poudel too is eyeing the party president post.