Under duress, Deuba says he will go for NC, NC (D) merger

Kathmandu, November 15:

Around 50 activists of the Nepali Congress and Nepali Congress (Democratic) gheraoed a vehicle boarded by NC (D) president Sher Bahadur Deuba outside the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) today, forcing him to declare that he will go for the unification of the two Congress parties.

Deuba was emerging out of the BICC after attending the three-day general convention of district presidents of the NC (D). The activists were also members of the Congress Unification Campaign (CUC), a body rooting for the unification of the NC and the NC (D).

Pressure for the unification notwithstanding, NC (D) district presidents, speaking at a closed-door session of their three-day convention in the BICC hall, urged the party leadership to exercise “extreme caution” while going for the unification. According to sources, a majority of district presidents cautioned the party leadership not to strike an “agreement” with a party, which is rooting for a ceremonial monarchy. The sources claimed that 90 per cent of the participants insisted that the party contest elections to a constituent assembly with the formation of a democratic republic as its agenda.

On the issue of unification, a majority of the district presidents said that the NC (D) should go for a “dignified unification”. Some suggested that the party change its name from NC (Prajatantrik) to NC (Loktantrik) since Praja means king’s subjects.

Holding placards, demonstrators warned that the party would have to face “adverse consequences” if it did not make the best use of the present time and situation for the unification, even as district presidents of the party were “engaged in serious discussion” on the party’s future course in the BICC hall.

NC (D) vice-president Prakash Man Singh told demonstrators to put pressure on NC president Girija Prasad Koirala to effect the unification. “We are calling for a dignified unification but the NC leadership is not listening to us,” he said. A central leader of the party, Bimalendra Nidhi, termed the demonstration a display of placards. “We want a dignified and respectable unification,” Nidhi told this daily, adding: “It is now up to NC president Koirala to make a wise decision.”