Leaders whip up frenzy over factionalism

Kathmandu, December 16

As the Nepali Congress Maha Samiti meeting entered its second day, speakers expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership for running the party in a haphazard way and promoting factionalism.

Today’s discussions were focused on the four proposals presented — macroeconomic, political, organisational and internal financial — and 32 speakers presented their views. Statute amendment proposal has not yet been presented in the gathering as leaders are still trying to forge consensus on that.

Speakers complained that the political document only mentioned three tiers of elections were held under NC leadership, but did not speak about the humiliating defeat. They said the leadership should own up the election loss. They were of the view that NC candidates were not defeated by communists, but by fellow Congressmen due to deep-rooted factionalism in the party that was not only limited to the centre, but also spread to district and ward committees.

The inclusion of ‘secularism’ in the political proposal also came under fire. They said the term should be replaced by ‘religious freedom’ represented by one of the four stars in the party flag. Some even said the party should promote ‘Hindu nation’, attributing the party’s defeat in the election to the decision to ditch the idea.

Briefing mediapersons, NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said the Maha Samiti was a platform where views from sections of society could be presented, and that it was normal to raise the issue of ‘religious freedom’. “Since we are a democratic party, everyone has the right to present their views. However, the final document will be based on consensus,” said Sharma.  Maha Samiti members also criticised the macroeconomic proposal, stating that it failed to come up with original programmes and reassembled the same programmes the party had been advocating historically.

On the organisational proposal, speakers said the party failed to come up with a concrete plan to make the organisation robust and promote youths. “The situation is such that a person who is not even an active member of the party has become a member of Parliament,” said one of the Maha Samiti members speaking today. “This trend will only weaken the party.”Speakers complained that all the proposals presented were ‘directionless’ and were drafted just for the sake of it, according to a Maha Samiti member.

Speakers also blasted the leadership for its failure to play effective role as the main opposition in the Parliament and outside. They said the party’s silence on a host of issues ranging from poor law and order situation to corruption scandals was baffling.

Speakers also criticised the government for its authoritarian style of functioning.