Mahat for electing Koirala’s deputy

Kathmandu, August 24:

Former minister and central committee member of the Nepali Congress, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, today said the party’s general convention should elect a vice-chairman from younger generation. “We accept Girija Prasad Koirala as the president but he is overburdened and this convention should make a provision for electing a vice-president. This will decide the ‘line of succession’ in the party leadership,” he said.

Addressing an interaction at the Reporters’ Club, he said the party should also reserve additional seats for the Dalits and Janajatis, showing due consideration to the ongoing demands of inclusive democracy and decentralisation. “A party which shouts slogans of democracy in the streets should first democratise its own structure,” he added. Speaking on the occasion, Sujata Koirala said the King should return the people’s rights to them. She added that the NC should not talk about republican system when the political parties themselves are fragile. According to her, GP Koirala is the only leader who can lead the party and the seven-party agitation.

Dipak Giri, a contestant for central committee member, said the party leadership should lend an ear to youth as well. A senior NC leader and former general secretary, Sri Bhadra Sharma, said the demand for the a republic set-up would be unnecessary if the King truly abides by the constitution and hands over sovereignty to the people. “I can understand youth activists’ anger but the country is not ready to witness another bloodshed,” he said. On the political changes, he said the parties gave King a chance to take the October 4 step, “but his takeover of February 1 shows that he intends to become autocratic”.

“The King keeps saying he believes in constitutional monarchy while his actions show just the opposite. This only divides the country into those who applaud his moves and those who protest,” he added.