NC-NC (D) unity call ‘lacks weight’

Kathmandu, February 21:

Unlike his “historic” appeal for party unification on February 27, 2004, yesterday’s “wish” for party unification coming from Nepali Congress (NC) president Girija Prasad Koirala has indicated “scanty hopes” among the party leaders, thanks to the “changed political scenario”. The breakaway faction of the parent NC party, currently the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led Nepali Congress (Democratic), which has been insisting on “respectable” unification between the two parties, is still suspicious over the “level of seriousness” in Koirala’s words.

The NC (D) fears, if Koirala is not serious, that might even “affect” the unanimity within the alliance. “Fine if it is a serious endeavour. If not, it is unwise to upset the unity of the seven-party alliance,” NC (D) spokesperson Dr Minendra Rizal told this daily today. Since NC and NC (D) are working closely for a righteous cause as independent parties, any adverse step from either party could lead to split in the alliance, he said. “For the moment, seven-party alliance is more important.”

NC spokesperson Krishna Prasad Sitaula said Koirala’s “wish” for party unity was positive at a time when democratic forces were fighting against autocracy. NP Saud of NC (D) said both the parties should be ready to correct their weaknesses. “Our party president Sher Bahadur Deuba is also positive about party unification,” Saud said.