NC mulls post-statute scenario

KATHMANDU: As the countdown for the promulgation of new constitution begins, Nepali Congress (NC) is busying itself mulling over tackling the post-May 28 upshot.

"If the party could not give new lifeblood to its organisation from local to central level, it will be unable to face mainly two challenges-regaining the party's earlier position in the general elections to be held after the new constitution and facing the adverse circumstances if the constitution could not be written on the specified time," said NC central members at its central committee meeting that kicked off today at its headquarters in Sanepa.

The party must hold its 12th General Convention (GC) before the promulgation of the new constitution to revitalise all its wings so that they could tackle those challenges successfully for the sake of the party and the democracy, according to sources.

They were referring to the Unified CPN-Maoist and other interest groups, which could pose threat to the country's democracy and political stability.

NC general secretary KB Gurung, joint-general secretary Arjun Narsingh KC and central members Govinda Raj Joshi, Narahari Acharya, Purna Bahadur Khadka, Bal Bahadur KC, Dip Kumar Upadhaya and Laxman Ghimire, among others, shared the view.

The CC members also directed the party office bearers to come up with concrete work schedule for holding the party's 12th GC at its next meeting slated for February 11.

The NC is contemplating over postponing its GC which was scheduled to be held from March 10 to 14 in Kathmandu as it was unable to complete all preparatory works at the expected time.

Some CC members dubbed the intention of the party office bearers for the delay to hold the GC as 'intentional' and 'planned' efforts of some leaders who have 'petty interest'.

The CC members blamed the party leadership and NC's ministers for not making proper coordination between them. They also accused the leadership of making political appointments in the government haphazardly without holding discussion in the party. Some members also demanded clarification from the NC ministers for their remarks going against party lines.

Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala left the meeting after half-an-hour and only two ministers- Umakanta Chaudhari and Purna Kumar Sherma -were present in the meeting. The meeting lasted for around five hours.

The issue of High-Level Political Mechanism (HLPM) and its roles and working areas also surfaced in the meeting as some leaders, including Arjun Narsingh KC, raised the issue.

"The NC does not want to involve in the game of changing the coalition as we have just 109 days to promulgate the new constitution," said KC during the meeting.

He further said that nobody had demanded a change in the present coalition and the HLPM's issue will be discussed at next meeting.

Senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, acting president Sushil Koirala and vice presidents Ram Chandra Paudel and Prakash Man Singh had suggested that the party propose a new date to hold its GC so that they would not have to postpone the date again.

The CC meeting also condemned the murder of Jamim Shah and demanded that the culprits be brought to book immediately. NC president Girija Prasad Koirala, in a message, sent his condolences to the bereaved family.