Kathmandu, December 28
The rival faction of the Nepali Congress led by Ramchandra Paudel organised a press conference today saying it would not accept the establishment faction’s decision to extend the tenure of the party’s leadership by one year.
A meeting of the NC’s Central Working Committee, which the Paudel faction boycotted, had decided yesterday to extend the tenure of the current leadership by one year from 3 March 2020 when the tenure of office bearers would end.
NC CWC had yesterday prepared the calendar of events for the next national convention proposing to hold it from February 19 to 22 in 2021. Paudel said his faction wanted the party to hold its next national convention by mid-December next year, not beyond that.
Flanked by party General Secretary Shashank Koirala and another leader Prakash Man Singh, Paudel said while his party opposed the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)-led government’s unilateral move of making appointments in constitutional bodies in the name of majority, it was now witnessing a similar practice within the party as party President Sher Bahadur Deuba had unilaterally decided to extend his tenure and prepare the calendar of events for the next National Convention.
Paudel said he would not accept the CWC’s decision extending the tenure of party office bearers and Deuba had to correct the decision. Deuba’s decision to extend his tenure is against the spirit of the party’s statute, its tradition and democratic norms, Paudel argued.
Asked what he would do if the party president did not correct the decision as per his faction’s demand, Paudel said his faction would consult all the cadres of the party and party wings on the next course of action. He said the establishment faction had amended the party’s statute to give active membership to party cadres immediately. “We are seriously concerned about the party’s decision to amend sensitive clauses of the party’s statute,” he added.
Paudel said Deuba’s decision had invited crisis in the NC, which was supposed to fight unitedly against the ‘undemocratic’ moves of the incumbent government.
Paudel said the CWC’s decision to increase the party’s departments from 28 to 47 was also wrong. It is a norm in democracy to avoid making new appointments during elections, but the establishment faction had decided to make appointments in the party’s departments soon, he argued.
Paudel said the establishment faction had failed to resolve the problems facing the NC’s student wing —Nepal Students Union.
Party General Secretary Shashank Koirala also opposed the establishment faction’s decision to extend the tenure saying the party’s decision failed to unite the party and had given rise to factionalism. “NC is plagued by factionalism. NC will have its future only when it can work as a united party,” he added.
Singh said Deuba had tried to forge consensus with the rival factions, but he unilaterally decided to extend his tenure without reaching consensus.
A version of this article appears in print on December 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.