Nepali Congress a divided house on government’s fate

Kathmandu, December 30:

Rift within the Nepali Congress has widened on how to deal with the Maoists and the performance of the NC parliamentary party. The division is almost 50-50, a member of the Nepali Congress said.

All the party members are angry and frustrated by the behaviour of the CPN-Maoist, however,

they are divided on whether the Maoist-led government should continue.

NC CA member Gagan Thapa feels the situation may worsen if they are removed from power.

Others, however, feel differently. Sujata Koirala said the dissatisfaction within the Nepali Congress has grown and the party is prepared to “take any step” to push the peace process to its logical conclusion. “The Maoists don’t want peace. They are just misleading the people saying they are building a New Nepal,” she said. Asked whether the NC is serious about pulling down the government, she said, “We don’t have to do that. The people themselves will seek an alternative if the Maoists continue with their activities.”

The CPN-Maoist has been blaming the NC for the failures of the government. A Maoist weekly today claimed that the NC, “by obstructing the parliament, is not allowing the new statute to be drafted, and not letting the government to effectively carry out its people-oriented programmes”.

Many members of the Nepali Congress are wary of this trend. First, they are concerned that the performance of the Nepali Congress in the parliament has not been satisfactory. Second, they are equally concerned about the peace process. “The failure of the Maoists is one thing, but it is also our responsibility to make sure that the peace process succeeds,” says Thapa.

Disgruntled voices, who want a properly elected parliamentary party leader, are getting louder.

“Lack of leadership is one of the major reasons for the unsatisfactory performance of the NC in the parliament,” Thapa said.

These parliamentarians are now thinking of submitting a signed petition to the party demanding election of a parliamentary party leader. Signature of at least 35 CA members are required for the purpose.