NC factions make headway in talks

Kathmandu, December 17

Talks between warring factions of the Nepali Congress made significant headway this evening, with the two sides reaching tentative agreement on issues related to constitution of the Nepal Students Union and extension of tenure of Tarun Dal’s central working committee.

The two sides had yesterday agreed to devise a calendar for the 14th National Convention and present it in the CWC, besides increasing the number of party departments from 28 to 41.

While NC Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi represented the establishment faction led by NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba, the rival faction led by senior leader Ramchandra Paudel was represented by Prakash Man Singh, Hriday Ram Thani and Dilendra Prasad Badu in the talks. The talks held at Singh’s residence at Chaksibari began at around 5:30pm and lasted for around two hours.

As per the developments so far, Deuba camp will have the leadership in both the NSU and Tarun Dal. In the to-be-formed committees of the sister wings, Deuba and Paudel camps will have representation based on the ratio of their representation in the previous working committees.

Talking to THT, Nidhi said although they did not discuss exact percentage of representation, they would ensure both the sides got respectable shares.

The two sides, however, have yet to reach an agreement on the number of office bearers in the NSU and Tarun Dal. They are discussing prospects of having either one office bearer for one post, or multiple office bearers for single post. “The issue of office bearers in Tarun Dal is almost agreed, but that in the NSU remains to be resolved,” said Nidhi.

The two sides have decided to meet again tomorrow morning at Chaksibari after briefing today’s development to their respective leaderships.

“We, including Sitaula, will meet tomorrow morning at Paudel’s residence, while Nidhi will also brief his group before sitting for a concluding meeting at Chaksibari,” Badu told THT. “Hopefully, we will conclude things in one or two meetings tomorrow before going for the CWC slated for the afternoon.”

Badu, however, said whether they would join tomorrow’s CWC or not would depend on tomorrow morning talks to be held at Chaksibari.

The Paudel camp has been boycotting CWC for the past few days amid differences over the four aforementioned issues. “Since we have already agreed on the number of departments and calendar for the national convention, we hope the remaining issues will conclude tomorrow,” said Badu. “However, we have not yet decided to join the CWC. It will depend on tomorrow morning’s meetings.”

As far as the departments are concerned, it’s still undecided which faction will get leadership of which department.

The Paudel camp has been staking claim on some crucial departments. The issue is also expected to be settled tomorrow morning.

“Things have largely been sorted out. They have agreed to my proposal to conclude everything by tomorrow morning and go for the CWC tomorrow itself even if it’s late,” said Nidhi.

Sitaula also had a meeting with the leaders at Chaksibari earlier in the day. In fact, it was Sitaula who convinced Deuba to postpone the CWC till tomorrow to hold dialogue and move ahead on the basis of consensus. Earlier, the Deuba camp had decided to move ahead on the basis of majority.