NC groupism spills over

Damaru Lal Bhandari

Kathmandu, June 17:

Charges fly thick and fast in NC meet.

Factional fighting is on the boil within the Nep-ali Congress. A section of the party’s central members has accused the coterie around president GP Koirala of trying to weed out detractors through “orchestrated” organisational elections held after February 1. Charges and counter-charges flew thick and fast in today’s informal meeting. The issue is likely to figure in the party’s Central Working Committee meeting scheduled for Monday. Those crying foul included Shailja Acharya, Chakra Bastola, Mahesh Acharya, Bhim Bahadur Tamang, and Leela Koirala. They dema-nded the party form a panel to look into alle-ged discrepancies wher-eby relatives and family friends of the coterie were awarded active membership at the cost of genuine members. Joint general secretary Govind Raj Joshi, however, shot down the demand and “since reports have not yet come in from respective districts, forming a panel will not serve any purpose.”

While the disgruntled section billed the post-February activities as detrimental to the party’s health, those representing the establishment claimed they decided to hold intra-party election after February 1 on basis of a statement issued by Koirala while still under house arrest.

Detractors questioned how Koirala could have issued a statement at a time when “movement had come to a grinding halt and phone lines were down.” Those representing the establishment claimed the detractors had nothing new to say and that not holding intra-party elections would have led to de-registration of the party. Meanwhile, Koirala and CPN-UML leader Bamdev Gautam briefed the alliance leaders at the NC headquarters. The alliance meeting will be held soon.