Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has said his party cannot afford to shirk responsibility if the situation demands that the party head the government.

"It's obvious we don't have any greed for the prime ministerial post, but that doesn't mean that our party has to shy away from taking up the mantle if that is what the situation demands," said the NC supremo, speaking at a condolence meeting organised by NC Chitwan in Ratnanagar today on the 10th day of the passing away of NC leader Eknath Ranabhat.

Further, stating that the party will definitely benefit if he becomes the prime minister, Deuba asked his party's senior leader Ramchandra Paudel not to begrudge him the prospect of shouldering the PM's responsibility. "I've gathered that he (Ramchandra Paudel) doesn't want to see me becoming the PM, but won't it benefit the party if someone from our party becomes the executive head of the country?" he asked.

The Congress chief also regretted that he couldn't fulfil his desire to make the late leader a minister at least once.

Speaking at the same programme, Senior NC leader Paudel, however, argued that the NC must continue to remain in the opposition.

"Though we're small in size in the House, we have a major role to play, so the NC must honestly play its role of the opposition this time as conferred to us by the people so that we can emerge as a strong political force next time," he said.

NC General Secretary Shashank Koirala noted late leader Ranabhat's contribution to establishing and consolidating democracy in the country. Other leaders including former speaker Taranath Ranabhat, NC central member Mahalaxmi Upadhyaya , Gandaki Province opposition party leader Krishnachandra Nepali, and Bagmati Province opposition party leader Indra Baniya also spoke at the programme.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 4, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.