Nepal | July 16, 2020

NC establishment faction in bid to forge unity

Prakash Acharya
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Kathmandu, February 13

Five days after the demise of Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, leaders of the party’s establishment faction today met for the first time and held consultations on how to keep the faction intact to secure its leadership of the party as the NC’s 13th National General Convention approaches.

These leaders chose late Koirala’s residence in Maharajgunj for consultations where his nephews Atul and Sudhanshu are observing the 13-day mourning rituals.

As all three leaders of the establishment side — Ramchandra Paudel, Prakash Man Singh and Krishna Prasad Sitaula — among others, have offered their candidacy for the post of party president, late Koirala’s residence has become a meeting point to discuss the issue.

The establishment side is facing a hard time maintaining unity with the rival faction led by senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba growing stronger.

Paudel, who has already proclaimed his candidacy for NC president, reiterated the same at today’s meeting. Singh and Sitaula also expressed their wish to contest the party presidency, according to NC sources.

Paudel presented himself as the natural candidate for party president, while Sitaula said he wanted the post and was capable of safeguarding and protecting the legacy of the establishment side. Singh said he would safeguard the party’s broader interests by leading the party and promoting Shashanka Koirala for securing the legacy of the Koirala family.

“We held preliminary discussions on how to keep intact the unity of the establishment side as in the 12th convention. We have urged senior leaders to decide for a single candidate and they have expressed readiness to move ahead with unity. They are likely to decide about the candidacy in four to five days,” said Central Working Committee member Ananda Prasad Dhungana.

NC founding leader BP Koirala’s son Shashanka Koirala asked the leaders not to play among members of the Koirala family. “The party is facing crisis and we, the members of Koirala family, are feeling our responsibility. But, I request friends not to play among us,” Shashanka Koirala told the meeting, according to party sources.

Pressure is mounting on leaders of the establishment side to forge consensus on a single candidate for party president in three to four days and participants at today’s meeting also urged leaders to forge consensus at the earliest so as not to affect the election of NGC representatives in the remaining 10 districts, said the establishment side’s CWC member Krishna Chandra Nepali.

Meanwhile, some youth leaders, including Nabindra Raj Joshi, Gururaj Ghimire, Dhanaraj Gurung and Badri Pande today held separate consultations at Joshi’s residence on how to enhance the role of the younger generation in the party, said sources.

A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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