Kathmandu, February 22
Nepali Congress leader Shashanka Koirala has suggested a middle path formula to end the longstanding factional rivalry between the ‘establishment side’ and the rival faction led by senior leader and three-time prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
His prescriptions: election of party president through open competition and evolving consensus for other positions or increasing the number of office bearers.
Such a middle path alone would go a long way to put to rest infighting and groupism in the country’s oldest political organisation post-13th National General Convention (March 3-6), Shashank told The Himalayan Times.
The youngest son of Nepali Congress’s most respected founder and visionary leader BP Koirala said efforts were under way to keep party unity intact by facilitating compromise between Deuba and Acting President Ramchandra Paudel, following the death of party president Sushil Koirala earlier this month. “Keeping party unity is the topmost priority now.”
Unfortunately, the NC leaders are living in a comfort zone of numbers 60 (establishment side) and 40 (rival faction) he said.
“The most pressing challenge is dismantling this divide once and for all, so that Nepali Congress gets a leadership acceptable to the party rank and file, and not this group or that.”
Koirala said the Central Working Committee meeting of the party to be held tomorrow would discuss the agenda of increasing the number of office bearers through amendment of the party statute.
“The leaders have calculated the existing positions and proposed increment in the number of office bearers’ position for adjusting the available leaders of their own faction.
However, there are chances of creating new positions to incorporate both the factions and unite the party in the real sense,” he said. “If both the alternatives don’t work, the party leadership will be elected through voting,” he said.
As the party has to tackle two key challenges revamping the party organisation and implementing the new constitution successfully the leadership to be elected from the 13th convention must be capable and responsible for the same, Koirala said.
He suggested that all NGC representatives seriously think about the kind of person they will elect to the helm of the party.
“All delegates should responsibly select the party leadership assessing whether the leadership would be able to settle the bitterness in the party and end factionalism,” he said.
To make the party vibrant, some qualities thoughtfulness, morality, capacity to unite the party and ability to tackle problems are very essential, he said.
The leaders can negotiate on the next prime ministerial candidate from the party and the party’s positions to adjust the party leaders’ aspiration for positions.
Koirala, who has been projected as a candidate for general secretary, however, said that the leaders should also be ready to make sacrifice going beyond their interest in positions and he was ready to make any kind of sacrifice for the same.
A version of this article appears in print on February 23, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.