HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Frustrated and angry over continued squabbles among party chief Sushil Koirala and senior leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ramchandra Paudel, Nepali Congress’ second-rung leaders have warned that they would take matters into their own hands to straighten things out in the party.
Ram Sharan Mahat today said the top leaders were wrangling over personal matters, not ideological. “If they are unable to put the house in order, they should clear the way for us, and we will resolve the problems,” said Mahat at an interaction with journalists. Mahat was of the view that NC of late has become the centre of attraction for all the wrong reasons, particularly with party President Koirala and senior leader Deuba engaged in a duel to prove their dominance in the party.
“When NC should be consolidating its strength, it is a divided house. Congress is a major stakeholder in the country’s politics and infighting will do no good to party or the country,” he added. The former finance minister’s scathing remarks come at a time when leaders, especially Young Turks in the party, have been blaming the trio for failing to manage the party. “NC is a mass-based party. It operates not because of the three leaders but because of its cadres and supporters all over the country,” said Mahat. “Party will not lose anything without these three leaders. We will not tolerate if they try to run the party from their residences.”
The grand old party has been quite often mired in power struggle and since its 12th general convention about two years ago, two camps — led by Koirala and Deuba — have clearly emerged. As if it was not enough, Deuba and Paudel have become each other’s bete noire. Last week’s en masse resignation by the Deuba camp is enough to prove that the assumption that everything was hunky-dory in the party was but the lull before the storm.
While Koirala has not been able to fix the problems with Deuba being the pain in his neck, Paudel’s silence has irked party men no end. On Deuba’s recent comment that Koirala had failed to run a tight ship, Mahat took a pot shot at him, albeit obliquely. “I am not a person who makes such comments in public,” he quipped.