Kathmandu, June 20

Nepali Congress Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi today told party President Sher Bahadur Deuba that he was keen to contest the post of NC president in the next National Convention slated to be held in September.

When Deuba called Nidhi at his residence yesterday to seek his support in the next elections for party presidency, Nidhi said he himself was planning to vie for the top post. "I said I need his support and blessing for my bid to win party presidency, but Deuba said he too was planning to contest for the post," Nidhi told THT.

Nidhi's private secretariat, meanwhile, posted a message on Facebook stating, "Forty-five years ago, BP Koirala had made Nidhi the president of Nepal Students Union, what will Deuba lose if he made Nidhi the party president? Nidhi is the only candidate who can be party president on the basis of consensus."

There are five other NC leaders who want to vie for the top NC post. - Ram Chandra Paudel, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Prakash Man Singh, Shekhar Koirala, and Shashank Koirala.

Nidhi said the party's rank and file wanted the party's leadership in the new generation's hands. He said he was vying for the top NC post to take ownership of the new constitution and to fully implement it to promote harmony among the domestic political forces and to rectify deviation seen in the country's foreign policy. He said the government had failed on all fronts and he would try to secure majority for the NC in the next general election.

Shekhar Koirala, who also plans to contest the post of NC president, said he would try to convince other competitors, particularly Ramchandra Paudel, Prakash Man Singh, and Shashank Koirala, to opt out of the race for the NC's top post.

Shekhar said the party leadership had failed to live up to the party's expectations. "As a democratic party, we should follow democratic norms outside and within the party, but the NC leadership has failed to hold the party's national convention in time," he added.

He said he would focus on providing more tickets to youths between 18 and 45 years of age in elected bodies. Shekhar said he would try to give 40 per cent seats to youths at local levels, 50 per cent at provincial levels, and 40 per cent in central level elected bodies. He said his focus would be on championing the cause of social security and social justice to realise the goals of socialism that the party had been advocating.

Deuba, meanwhile, has intensified consultations with his supporters, as he plans to contest for the top NC post for the second time.

Deuba met his supporters from provincial chapters yesterday and will continue to interact with party supporters and loyalists in the run up to the 14th National Convention scheduled to be held before mid-September.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.