NC undecided on deputy leader of opposition

Kathmandu, December 1:

After Nepali Congress lawmakers failed to forge a consensus on the provision of a deputy leader in NC’s Parliamentary Party statute, the PP was unable to finalise the statute today.

NC’s lawmakers were divided into three groups regarding the election of the deputy leader — nomination by the leader, approval by the PP after nomination and direct election of the ‘deputy leader’ by the parliamentary party.

The proposed statute prepared by a task force headed by General Secretary Bimalendra Nidhi has specified the provision for approval of a ‘deputy leader’ after nomination.

Soon after the meeting started, President Koirala instructed the task force to exclude the provision of approval and mention only the provision of nomination. “As the deputy leader would merely be a ‘helper’ to the leader, there is no need of election for the post,” Koirala said. Lawmakers, including Pradip Giri, Purna Bahadur Khadka, Deep Kumar Upadhaya, Ramesh Rijal, Keshav Kumar Budhathoki and Shiva Chandra Mishra opposed Koirala’s view demanding that the deputy leader needed to be elected.

The meeting has been postponed till December 8. Only after the statute’s passage will the NC be able to elect its PP leader.

The Constitutional Council has been unable to get a definite shape, because of its failure to appoint a leader. CA members, including Purna Bahadur Khadka, have criticised the party leadership for not making the party’s role effective at the CA.

Khadka raised the issue of ambiguity in NC-CA members during the CA Vice Chairperson’s election because of the lack of clear instruction.

Party leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba, Gopal Man Shrestha, Prakash Man Singh and Narahari Acharya were not present at the meeting.