NC leaders criticise party ministers

KATHMANDU: At a time when popular discontent is growing on the performance of the government, Nepali Congress Central Committee (CC) members have expressed serious discontent on the performance of the government and of the ministers represented by the party in the CPN-UML-led coalition. They expressed this during an ongoing CC meeting held today.

The meeting, however, could not take any decision on pertinent issues, except to postpone it till Tuesday.

CC member Dip Kumar Upadhaya came down heavily on Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala at today's meeting questioning her 'disputable' performance. "Her performance and dealing in her ministry on the issues including the Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) have ashamed us," sources quoted Upadhaya as saying.

"The ministry's performance had never been weak in such a way and we, the congress Constituent Assembly members, were unable to defend the ministry's performance at the Public Account Committee," he further said.

Sources said CC members criticised the congress ministers for running their ministries on their whims and fancies without consulting the party.

Senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba told the meeting that the promulgation of new constitution and Maoists' leadership in the government were impossible until their combatants were managed. He suggested that the congress should take the issue seriously.

The party could not fix new date of its general convention as senior leaders and central members remained divided over the internal disputes of the party. "Today's meeting could not fix new date as leaders continued giving divergent opinion on the rows regarding merger of two congresses which were merged two and half years back," said party sources.

The CC members also asked office bearers to sit separately and present a consensual decision about the disputes of the eight districts, where the merger row reached a climax. Joint general secretary Arjun Narsingh KC proposed four bases -- instructions of the party's 11th general convention, directives made by the CC earlier and decision of central representatives, who were deployed to the disputable districts -- to settle the disputes.

The CC meet, to sit on Tuesday, will likely take decision on the new date of the convention, said spokesperson KC.

The party is unable to convene its convention although its all-level working committees expired one and half years ago. Merger related disputes and leaders vested interests have remained throttling obstacles for the convention.

The party's ongoing CC meeting for one month is still unable to settle the disputes and fix new date for holding the convention. At today's meeting, CC members including Khum Bahadur Khadka criticised party's office bearers for their failure to settle the dispute pending for a long time.

A meeting of party office bearers, few days ago, had proposed to hold the convention from June 10 to 14.