NCP ranking rankles top leaders

Kathmandu, May 20

Dissatisfaction is growing within the newly formed Nepal Communist Party over the ranking of leaders.

Among the leaders who are miffed at the party leadership is Jhalanath Khanal. He was number two in the erstwhile CPN-UML ahead of Madhav Kumar Nepal, but has been placed behind Nepal in the NCP.  Khanal has publicly rejected the party’s decision on seniority and portfolios and has raised the issue with top leaders of the party.

Ninth General Convention of the UML had accorded Khanal the second-most senior leader ahead of Madhav Kumar Nepal in the ranking. The current ranking of the NCP has put Khanal behind Nepal. Khanal, however, is a member of NCP secretariat.

On the day the UML and CPN-MC merged to form NCP, Khanal was in China for treatment. “I was not consulted by party leaders,” Khanal told THT today after returning home from China.

According to sources, Khanal has also raised the issue of seniority of Ishwar Pokharel and Bhim Rawal, who also think that their seniority was not respected.

Rawal, who was a vice-chairperson of UML, is not even a member in the NCP Secretariat.

According to sources, Rawal met Oli today and expressed dissatisfaction over the seniority issue.

Although Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel is dissatisfied at not being offered the post of general secretary that he held in the UML after the ninth GC, he has not publicly expressed his displeasure. Bishnu Paudel, who was junior to Pokharel in UML, has been named general secretary of the NCP.

“We have entrusted party Chair Oli and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal with the task of finalising names of leaders for top structures of the party, particularly the central committee and standing committee,” he said.

Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa, who were associated with the CPN-MC before the unification,  are also dissatisfied with their ranks in the NCP. Shrestha has been named NCP’s spokesperson though he wanted to be a general secretary. Thapa has also shown dissatisfaction with party Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and has urged him to rank him above Pokharel in seniority.

According to an NCP leader, more leaders will be miffed at the party leadership after expansion of the 441-member central committee and 45-member standing committee.

Khanal is also not happy with Oli and Nepal’s choices for the central committee.

Devi Gyawali, who lost the mayoral race in Bharatpur Metropolitan City, has become a CC member. Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, Province 3 Chief Minister Dormani Poudel, Minister of State for Information, Communications and Technology Gokul Baskota, former minister Ananda Pokharel and journalist Bishnu Rijal have also become CC members. According to sources, most leaders who are inducted in the NCP’s CC are close to Oli and Nepal.

Oli will include 241 members from his side in the CC and Dahal will choose 200 leaders for CC and 19 leaders for the standing committee.

Dahal has included Onsari Gharti, Kamal Chaulagain, Nanda Kumar Prasai, Mahadev Yadav, Jagat Yadav and Gopal Thakur in the CC. “There are several leaders who wanted to be central leaders of the unified party. We are selecting on the basis of seniority, capacity and continuity in the party,” an NCP leader said.

Oli and Dahal met today to finalise the names of central committee members. NCP leader Janardan Sharma told THT, “We’ll submit the list to the EC tomorrow.”