Disgruntled NCP leaders seek jumbo politburo

Kathmandu, November 27

A disgruntled group of leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is pressuring the party leadership to form a 147-member politburo before delegating roles and responsibilities to central committee members.

NCP leaders fear seniors might be sidelined while juniors are promoted if the size of the politburo is kept small.

Fifteen central committee members today met NCP Co-chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal at his residence in Khumaltar, Lalitpur, and put forth their demand.

“Dahal was serious and positive about the issues that we raised, and we hope the party will take them up,” one of the 15 leaders Jagannath Khatiwada told The Himalayan Times. “He told us that the leadership should be sensitive about issues raised by central committee members.”

A group of 21 disgruntled central committee members, including the 15 who met Dahal today, had on November 21 submitted a memorandum to NCP General Secretary BishnuPoudel with the same demand. Most of the leaders are close to senior NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Khatiwada said they conveyed to Dahal that the number of disgruntled leaders had increased to 35, and would soon reach 100. There are 441 central committee members in the party that commands two-thirds in the Parliament.

The leaders have also been seeking to meet another NCP Co-chairperson and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, but he has so far refused to meet them. “He [Oli] should have invited us to address our concerns. We are trying to meet the prime minister,” Khatiwada said.

Sources said Oli was in no mood to meet the leaders.

Disgruntled leaders have complained about shrinking intra-party democracy and that the central committee has been kept in the dark. They are of the view that the secretariat should not dominate the decision-making process.

“The party should follow system and process; it is not a one-man show,” one of the disgruntled leaders said.

Senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha and secretariat member Bamdev Gautam have been supporting issues raised by the disgruntled leaders. They are also opposed to the party’s plans to delegate roles to central committee members before formation of the 147-member politburo committee.

However, Oli, Dahal and Poudel are in favour of finalising roles of central committee members first and forming the politburo committee later.

A secretariat meeting scheduled for today could not meet after Oli and Dahal failed to finalise the role of central committee members.

NCP Co-chairpersons Oli and Dahal consulted General Secretary Bishnu Poudel and Ram Bahadur Thapa — members of a two-member taskforce formed to delegate responsibilities to central committee members — today at Baluwatar, but could not finalise things. The secretariat meeting was also postponed yesterday.

According to sources, the two Co-chairpersons Oli and Dahal are preoccupied with finalisation of provincial committee members.

They have been removing some names and adding others. The last secretariat meeting had authorised the two top party leaders to finalise the names of provincial committee members.

Oli and Dahal are planning to unveil the names of provincial committee members and delegate roles to top central committee members at the same time.