Deuba skirts issue of republic

Kathmandu, November 17:

President of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) Sher Bahadur Deuba today remained silent on the demand of 68 district presidents of the party to go for a republican set-up after elections to a constituent assembly. During his 10-minute speech at the end of the four-day conference of district presidents of the NC (D), Deuba steered clear of the word “republic”.

District presidents, stressing the need to go for a republic, also handed over a 20-point resolution to Deuba today.

“NC (D) cannot compromise on democracy, federal system, inclusive system and pluralism,” Deuba said.

Deuba said: “Nothing can now stop the country from going for elections to a constituent assembly (CA).”

He urged the district presidents to make the elections a success. He, however, said CA elections will only be disrupted if the Maoists disrupt publicity campaigns ahead of polls.

Deuba did not spare the king and NC president Girija Prasad Koirala for “betraying him”. “NC (D) was made the major target for attack by the king,” Deuba said accusing the king of “giving trouble” to his party.

“How can I leave you people, who encouraged me and supported me when the king and NC president Koirala were hell-bent on isolating me, alone?”

Terming the unification of the NC and the NC (D) “not a big deal”, Deuba, however, said: “My partymen should not be betrayed in the name of unification.”

District chiefs want republic

KATHMANDU: District presidents attending the conference urged the leadership to go for a federal republican setup.

The 20-point resolution has urged the leadership to come up with a clear political vision and enhance its organisational capacity to go for elections to a constituent assembly.

The resolution passed by district presidents has also asked the party leadership not to accept any form of monarchy, including the ceremonial one, which has been accepted by the Nepali Congress. The resolution has also asked the leadership to rename the party as Nepali Congress (Loktantrik).

It has urged the party to call a special national convention or Mahasamiti meeting by December 15 “to make significant political decisions.”

It also demanded that the issue of citizenship be resolved before constituent assembly elections. The district presidents told the leadership to agree for unification with the NC on the basis of equality. — HNS