Leaders scrambling to break gridlock over party statute

Kathmandu, December 17

As the ongoing Maha Samiti meeting of the Nepali Congress concluded its third day, leaders were still scrambling to break the gridlock over amendment to the statute despite a series of marathon meetings.

Although the party has already presented four proposals — organisational, political, macro-economic and internal financial — in the Maha Samiti gathering, the crucial statute amendment proposal has not yet been presented due to differences over the number of office bearers and their election process.

While the rival faction led by senior leader Ramchandra Paudel is firm on its stand that all the office bearers should be elected, the establishment faction led by NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba is for electing half of the office bearers and nominating the rest.

Leaders, including NC Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi, Ramesh Lekhak, Minendra Rijal, Arjun Narsingh KC and Purna Bahadur Khadka were holding a meeting at the NC parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar to iron out an amicable solution by the time this paper went to the press.

Nidhi told The Himalayan Times over phone from the meeting hall that they had sorted out most of the issues and that they were close to a consensus. “The meeting is under way, we will soon reach a conclusion,” he said.

Although leaders say an agreement has been reached on the number of CWC members and office bearers, no concrete decision has been taken yet.

The differences over statute amendment also affected today’s discussions at the Maha Samiti meeting. Deuba was booed by Maha Samiti members after he tried to leave the venue to take part in statute discussions at the parliamentary party office.

This forced the party to halt the gathering until lunch. The gathering resumed at around 4:00pm as speakers continued to bash the leadership for promoting factionalism and for failure to play the role of responsible opposition.