Rapid dynamics change in Congress as nominations are being filedDissatisfaction grows in the Deuba camp after one general secretary post offered to Sitaula group.
The way the leaders were squabbling and haggling in the lead up to the Nepali Congress 14th general convention, it was expected that internal political dynamics could see a massive change.
On Saturday, leaders started filing nominations, the party saw leaders change sides, creating new equations.
After the incumbent party President Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is running for yet another term decided to form an alliance with Krishna Prasad Sitaula, offering the latter’s camp one general secretary and one joint general secretary (to Pradip Poudel and Umakant Chaudhary), dissatisfaction has grown in the establishment faction. The other general secretary candidate from the Deuba camp is Prakash Sharan Mahat.
With the new development, Bishwo Prakash Sharma, an aspirant for the general secretary post, now seems to have switched sides.
Sharma is likely to contest from the Ram Chandra Poudel camp, from which Gagan Thapa is already in the fray for the general secretary post.
Balkrishna Khand, yet another general secretary post aspirant from the Deuba camp, too is learnt to have been dissatisfied.
From the Poudel camp, Shekhar Koirala and Prakash Man Singh are contesting for the post of party president. Despite repeated meetings, Poudel camp leaders could not hammer out a deal on a consensus candidate.
Meanwhile, Poudel, who himself was an aspirant for the party president post, said on Saturday that he has decided to stay away from the leadership race.
“In view of the situation that has been evolving in the party, I have decided to stay away from the 14th general convention leadership race,” Poudel said in a statement.
Poudel had been in a bid to become the consensus candidate for the party president post from his camp, but both Shekhar and Singh refused to budge. Yet another aspirant for the party top post, Shashank Koirala, however, backtracked three days ago. There were speculations that Shashank could join the Deuba camp and run for the party vice president. However, insiders say he has refused Deuba’s offer.
In the last general convention held in March 2016, Poudel was defeated by Deuba in a run-off with the support from Sitaula.
According to insiders, Sharma will contest for the general secretary post from Shekhar’s group and Singh has roped in Sujata Koirala for the vice president post.
The party will elect one party president, two party vice presidents, two general secretaries and eight joint general secretaries.
As of now, there are five candidates for the party president post—Deuba, Bimalendra Nidhi, Shekhar Koirala, Singh and Kalyan Gurung.
Gurung on Saturday morning filed his nomination for the post.
Nidhi, a long-time Deuba’s ally, also has yet to form his panel of leaders.
Leaders from the Deuba camp said that there have been rapid developments and no concrete decision has been taken yet.
“We are still holding discussions and have not come to any conclusion yet,” Khand told the Post. “Things have become complicated.”
The deadline for filing nominations is 5pm Saturday.