Deuba is NC PP leaderConsolidating his grip in the party, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected the Parliamentary Party leader, defeating Prakash Man Singh with a huge margin.
Consolidating his grip in the party, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected the Parliamentary Party leader, defeating Prakash Man Singh with a huge margin.
Deuba becomes more powerful in the party at a time when rival factions and some youth leaders are pressing him to hand over leadership to the young generation.
Deuba supporters say a powerful president is necessary to bolster the party as it takes the opposition role after facing an electoral rout. Leaders from rival factions, however, said Deuba’s re-election should not be seen as his wide acceptance in the party.
This is Deuba’s fourth victory as the PP leader. In an election held at the NC Parliamentary Party office in Singha Durbar on Monday morning, Deuba defeated his rival, former general secretary Prakash Man Singh, with 25 votes. Deuba got 44 votes in the 63-member PP. Singh, from the faction led by Ram Chandra Poudel, had hoped that even leaders from the Deuba camp would support his candidacy.
The faction led by Krishna Prasad Sitaula had supported Singh even as Bhimsen Das Pradhan, who is close to Sitaula, voted for Deuba. Efforts to elect the PP leader in consensus had failed. Deuba was pressed to hand over PP leadership to a second generation leader. PP leader serves as the main opposition leader in Parliament.
Soon after election, Deuba nominated Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as the deputy PP leader. Gachhadar had joined the NC ahead of the federal and provincial polls. Before the vote, Deuba had offered the deputy leader’s post to the Poudel faction in his bid to be elected unopposed.
Deuba first became the PP leader in 1994. In 2001, he defeated Poudel in the PP leader race but he lost to Poudel in 2009. In 2014, Deuba was again defeated by then-party President Sushil Koirala. In April 2016, Deuba defeated Poudel again, after he became the party president in March that year.
Youth leaders and NC’s rival factions said that Deuba’s fresh election does not mean that the campaign for leadership change has turned irrelevant. “Deuba’s monopoly in selecting candidates for the Proportional Representation category helped him secure the majority votes,” said leader Gagan Thapa. “We were of the view that Deuba cannot take responsibility both as the party president and the PP leader. Now, Deuba has to prove that he is capable of leading both the fronts. There is the need for effective leadership in Parliament.”
All party leaders and cadres want an effective leadership to reclaim the party’s lost position, said Thapa. Min Bahadur Bishwakarma, a leader close to Deuba, said a strong party president was necessary to rebuild the NC.