Student leaders sceptical about NSU holding pollsNepal Student Union polls have though been scheduled for August 7-9, some leaders are sceptical about elections taking place on the announced date, largely due to deep factionalism and repeated postponements in the past.
Nepal Student Union polls have though been scheduled for August 7-9, some leaders are sceptical about elections taking place on the announced date, largely due to deep factionalism and repeated postponements in the past.
The sister wing of the Nepali Congress has failed to hold its biennial convention since 2007 despite announcing polls on seven different occasions.
Following intense pressure from the party and its leadership, a recent meeting of the NSU central committee announced that its 11th general convention would be held on August 7-9 at Bhrikutimandap in the Capital, said union Spokesperson UP Lamichhane.
Since the NSU has failed to hold its polls several times despite announcing the dates, student leaders believe that deep factionalism, high number of aspirants and the tradition of nominating the president from “the leadership’s pocket” could lead to postponement once again.
Kundan Kafle, who has announced his candidacy for NSU presidency, warned of grave consequences if senior party leaders “nominate the president of the student wing” instead of going for elections.
“Apart from announcing the date, no preparation has been made so far,” said Kafle. “We still have disputes in 11 districts regarding conventions at the district level.”
The NSU has completed its district conventions in 64 of the 75 districts. On Sunday, it formed a seven-member committee to resolve disputes in the remaining districts. The committee will submit its report in a month.
According to Kafle, about 600 of the likely 2,100 leaders elected from the ground level for the general convention are not students. “How can people who are not students elect the leadership? This is against the norms,” he added.
NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba has repeatedly put pressure on the NSU leadership to conduct polls at the earliest.
NSU Spokesperson Lamichhane said concerns shown by some of the student leaders were genuine as the party has not been able to hold elections for long. “Since we have already booked halls for the polls and preparations are being made on a war footing, we urge everyone to cooperate,” he said.
In 2011, the then NSU president Pradeep Poudel was forced to resign “for failing to hold the polls”. Then party president Sushil Koirala had then formed a special committee under Ranjit Karna to hold the NSU polls within six months.
Karna said the NSU statute will soon be changed in the spirit of the new constitution so that polls could be held on the said date.
“We plan to make our office bearers and central committee members inclusive by incorporating Madhesis, Janajatis, women and the marginalised communities, among others. We will also make space for representatives from the seven provinces,” said Karna.
According to Karna, the amended statute will be handed over to the mother party for endorsement in about 10 days.
In March, Sher Bahadur Deuba, as the new NC president, had vowed to hold polls of party’s all sister organisations within six months.
To that effect, central committee member Prakash Sharan Mahat has been given the responsibility to coordinate to ensure that polls are held within the stipulated time.