‘Election loss due to NC’s own weaknesses’

Kathmandu, January 23

A gathering of 32 district presidents of the Nepali Congress held in Halesi, Khotang, yesterday, attributed the party’s crushing defeat in the recently held provincial and parliamentary elections to the party’s own weaknesses.

The meeting, held in the run-up to the national gathering of all NC district presidents, identified 10 major weaknesses of the party that led to defeat, including lack of election-centric political agenda, lack of political slogan, which made voters enthusiastic about the left alliance; controversial decisions taken by the NC-led government such as appointment of police chief and move to impeach the chief justice on the eve of the polls; and not assigning any responsibility to district working committees while selecting election candidates, according to NC Nuwakot district President Jagadish Narsing KC.

Other weaknesses identified by NC district presidents include awarding election tickets to more than one candidate of the same constituency during civic polls; failure to forge a strong democratic alliance and the move to join hands with fringe parties with no popular base; failure to give continuity to the alliance forged with CPN-Maoist Centre during local polls until the provincial and parliamentary elections; failure to dismiss allegations made by the opposition against the NC; failure to put an end to factionalism within the party; and internal conflicts and betrayal in some districts, KC added.

According to NC Panchthar district President Narendra Kumar Kerung, the leaders also concluded that the party’s statute should be amended to make it compatible with the present context and in line with the new federal set-up of the country.

Kerung said the gathering formed a five-member team led by NC’s Kavrepalanchowk district President Madhu Acharya to recommend amendment to the party’s statute. The team will put forth the recommendations at the national gathering of NC district presidents to be held in Nuwakot in the third week of February. “After discussions in the national gathering, we will take the recommendation to the Maha Samiti,” he told THT “We are working by keeping in mind the fact that just lambasting the party’s leadership is not going to rebuild the party’s image.”

The NC district presidents also concluded that all NC members, from President Sher Bahadur Deuba to the central working committee and the ward-level, were responsible for the election defeat, according to KC. “We do not want to pass the buck. The need of the hour is party reform,” he said.

The gathering also decided to request the government to immediately resolve the border dispute with India through diplomatic initiatives, extend the deadline for earthquake survivors to receive reconstruction grant, offer relief to people affected by cold wave in the Tarai, develop Halesi as a tourism destination and immediately execute the Cabinet decision to give Rs 5,000 as monthly welfare allowance to patients of kidney failure and cancer, among other diseases.