Kathmandu, April 8:

The Nepali Congress (NC) today filed an application in the Election Commission (EC) to renew its registration.

The decision to file the application was taken at a hurriedly-called meeting of the party at its headquarters in the morning. Party President and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had also rushed to the party’s Sanepa office. The team of NC leaders, which went to the EC office, was led by General Secretary Kul Bahadur Gurung.

The NC is the second major political party to apply for registration after the CPN-UML. The EC has set an April 30 deadline for all political parties to register themselves for the constituent assembly election.

The fact that the party has completed the formality suggests that the much-hyped merger of the party with the NC (Democratic) stands ruled out for the time being. It is learnt that the party went ahead with the idea of registering itself as there is neither enough time nor enough willingness for the unification before the registration deadline.

However, NC (D) spokesman and member of parliament, Dr Minendra Rijal, insisted that the NC’s registration at the EC does not mean that the unification process has hit a dead end.

“Unification is possible even after the registration process. It is still on the cards. In fact, merger talks will resume after our party president (Sher Bahadur Deuba) returns from a personal visit to Singapore in a week,” Dr Rijal claimed.