NC district chiefs lambast party leadership

Kathmandu, January 6

Nepali Congress district presidents representing the disgruntled faction led by senior leader Ramchandra Paudel today said the party leadership’s illiberal and intolerant approach was affecting unity of the party at a time when the party had a historic responsibility of fighting against the ruling party’s bid to turn the country into one-party communist authoritarian state.

They requested the party leadership to rise above factional interests and build a party that was responsible towards the nation and the people on the basis of ‘democratic principles and the party’s glorious traditions’.

Submitting a memorandum to the leadership, 44 district presidents who’ve assembled in Kathmandu said the leadership should abide by the statutory provisions while taking decisions.

They said the central working committee’s December 27 decision to suspend the party’s statutory clauses taken on the basis of majority was against the spirit of the supremacy of the statute.

They said if any decision not clearly provisioned by the statute needed to be taken, the statute should be amended following due procedures provisioned by the statute itself.

They added that only the National Convention could revise the statute endorsed by the Maha Samiti as per the statutory provisions, and not the central working committee.

They said the CWC’s decision to roll back two major decisions of the Maha Samiti meeting held in December — election of all central working committee members from the booth level and one-person-one-opportunity in proportional and reservation quotas — was not only against the statutory provisions, but also against the party’s traditions, culture and democratic principles.

They said the leadership’s decision to suspend statutory clauses created serious complication and confusion in the party and urged the leadership to take any decision related to the party’s National Convention on the basis of broad consensus.

They added that decisions should be based on consensus, cooperation, coexistence and understanding, in line with the spirit of national unity and reconciliation.

The main opposition party is embroiled in the worst-ever factional dispute. Despite objections from the Paudel faction, the establishment faction led by NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba on December 27 suspended certain clauses of the party’s statute on the basis of majority.

The CWC, boycotted by Paudel camp, also decided on the basis of majority to adopt a calendar for the 14th National Convention to be held in mid-March next year, increase the number of party departments and extend the tenure of NC’s sister wing Tarun Dal.

To pressure the Nepali Congress leadership to ‘correct’ its decisions, the Paudel camp today assembled 44 NC district presidents at the party headquarters. Today’s gathering was also attended by NC General Secretary Shashank Koirala, Treasurer Sita Devi Yadav and leaders Prakash Man Singh, Ram Sharan Mahat, Hridaya Ram Thani and Nabindra Raj Joshi.

NC Tehrathum District President Narendra Kumar Kerung told THT that a total of 14 district presidents presented their views today and the rest would speak on Tuesday and Wednesday. He said all the speakers were unanimous that the party leadership should function as per statutory provisions and roll back all the decisions taken on the basis of majority by suspending statutory clauses.

Meanwhile, the establishment faction stated that such gatherings beyond the due processes would contribute nothing to the party and would only confuse party supporters.

“If anybody has anything to say, they can speak in regular party meetings,” said NC leader NP Saud, who represents Deuba camp. “Going beyond regular meeting processes and activating pressure groups is not going to help,” he added.