Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 20:

The Nepali Congress (NC) announced the date for its general convention at the end of the Central Working Committee meet today. The event has been scheduled in the capital from September 30 to October 2. The party had also named a team which will draw up the amendment draft of the party’s statute, which will be passed by the general convention. Ironically, nothing has been said about the nature of the draft although members expressed optimism that the motive could be positive and hoped that it would ensure a broad-based organisational set up. The team consists of Mahanta Thakur, Chakra Prasad Bastola, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Laxman Prasad Ghimire and Amod Prasad Upadhayay. The party has given continuity to the team headed by its general secretary Sushil Koirala. The team was formed in December to prepare for the convention which was planned for March.

Meanwhile, the party, as a constituent of the seven-party alliance, has today issued a call to the Maoists to join the mainstream and formally condemned the rebels for killing innocent people in Madi and Kailali. Asked if the party has reviewed its position in the wake of the Maoists undergoing a genuine change of heart, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said: “The Maoists have apparently not changed.” He, however, insisted that the party did not “review its stance on the rebels today.” NC joint secretary Govind Raj Joshi and central member Dr Ram Baran Yadav and a few others have expressed reservations over the agenda of the alliance. The party has also condemned the arrest of its spokesman, Arjun Narsingh KC, in Nepalgunj. In a related development, party leader, Narahari Acharya, who is still in detention, welcomed the decision of the alliance in which it has expressed the possibility of unity of purpose, should the Maoists give up violence.