Discontent rife in parties over NA lists

Though the nominated candidates cannot be termed unsuitable, those getting opportunity earlier have got it again. This is not fair — Senior NC leader Ramchandra Paudel

Kathmandu, January 24

Discontent with the leadership is rife in major political parties over the nomination of candidates for the National Assembly election slated for February 7.

While Nepali Congress leaders have criticised the party’s leadership for its failure to abide by the system once again while nominating candidates, the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre are grappling with intense discontent among their leaders for reasons such as ‘sidelining deserving candidates, resorting to nepotism and repeating those already in the Proportional Representation lists for the parliamentary election’.

In case of Madhes-based parties, some members of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal presidium walked out of the meeting to finalise NA candidates midway last night following differences over who to nominate.

NC leader Pradip Paudel said the party’s Central Working Committee meet held a few days ago had suggested criteria for the nomination of the NA election candidates, including giving priority to those making immense contribution to the party but deprived of any opportunities so far, but no such criteria was adopted.

He said instead of the party’s parliamentary board NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba took decisions after consulting a few leaders. “The leaders he consulted influenced him to meet their vested interests,” said Paudel.

He said they would raise the issue in the upcoming CWC meet to be held after the NA election, but added they would work to ensure victory of the nominated candidates, as it was a matter of the party’s reputation.

“Though the nominated candidates cannot be termed unsuitable, those getting opportunity earlier have got it again. This is not fair,” said Paudel.

Some women leaders of the NC are not happy that Arzu Rana Deuba was not nominated. They issued a public statement yesterday demanding that Arzu Rana Deuba be nominated for the NA election.

The CPN-MC leadership, on the other hand, has been accused of nepotism and ignoring recommendations made by subordinate bodies.

Ignoring the plea to nominate a member of a martyr’s family, the party nominated Bina Pokhrel, wife of CPN-MC leader Sabitri Kumar Kaphle, from Province 1. Pokhrel, who runs an FM radio station and is vice-chairperson of Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal, is not active in politics and was nominated despite the fact that her name was also included in the PR list for parliamentary election, said a CPN-MC leader.

CPN-MC leaders also criticised the leadership for nominating Chandra Bahadur Khadka from Province 5, sidelining some deserving senior leaders.

The UML too is not immune to similar criticism. Nomination of media personality Komal Oli, who recently joined the UML, from Province 5, sidelining prominent leaders, such as Thakur Gaire, Jagannath Khatiwada, Jagannath Acharya, Meghnath Paudel, Amrit Bohora, Keshav Badal, Pradip Nepal, Raghuji Pant, Tul Bahadur Gurung, Ram Preet Paswan, Agni Kharel, Mahendra Pandey, and Devi Gyawali, has caused much discontent in the party.

As far as the RJP-N is concerned, differences ensued among members of the party’s presidium after its coordinator nominated candidates against the recommendations, according to an RJP-N leader.

The RJP-N leader said Thakur had been authorised to select one candidate under the open category, besides one woman, but all those nominated were males. RJP-N has nominated Brikhesh Chandra Lal, who was proposed by Thakur, and Ramesh Yadav proposed by Mahendra Ray Yadav.

“The RJP-N meeting to finalise candidates that went on till 1:00am turned so tense that other members of the presidium walked out midway,” said the RJP-N leader.