No DPM post demand made: NC

KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress (NC) leaders today unequivocally refuted the charges that the party had not demanded the post of the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

"I don't know which party demanded that but as far as the Nepali Congress is concerned, it had clearly not made any formal demand of that kind," said NC parliamentary party leader, Ram Chandra Paudel. "NC had not made such a demand, nor it has the need to do so now."

He was talking to reporters at a tea-party hosted by party president Girija Prasad Koirala at his residence in Maharajgunj. Except for Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala, all central leaders attended the tea-party.

Party spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC said,"It is not unsual for us to demand for the post of DPM, but it must go through party's organisational channel."

"Let's not deal the issue here now," said party President Koirala, who is believed to have hosted the tea-party to calm down members in the party angered by Sujata's conduct.

The party leaders have been pointing fingers at Minister Sujata for not accompanying the PM-led delegation to India. She has also come under fire for not summoning herself up to the parliamentary party to clarify her position when called.

President Koirala during the meeting urged the party leaders not to weaken the post of the party president by adopting collective leadership. "I suggest you all that in the party statute, preference be given to a system of both election and nomination while forming the central committee," NC chief whip Laxman Prasad Ghimire, quoted Koirala as saying.

Contrary to what their leader said, most of the party leaders are lobbying for a collective leadership in the next year's general convention of the party slated on March 13.