Kathmandu, February 27
Tough negotiations are under way in the establishment side of the Nepali Congress for having only one candidate for the party president’s post when there are only four days left for the NC’s 13th National General Convention to begin.
The rival faction led by senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba is closely observing things to see whether the disgruntled elements from the establishment faction could be brought to his fold.
Infighting among leaders of the establishment side continues as the four aspirants — Ramchandra Paudel, Prakash Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Sujata Koirala — are preparing their candidacy for the post although Paudel, Shashanka Koirala and Ram Sharan Mahat are working hard to forge consensus among the four.
A meeting between Paudel, Shashanka Koirala and Mahat held in Maharajgunj today discussed various options for forging consensus among leaders of the establishment side.
“As Sitaula seems rigid and all geared to fight for the party presidency, it is still unclear whether Singh and Sujata Koirala will file their candidacy although they also are claiming the party’s top post,” said sources at the establishment side.
The establishment side is preparing to announce its candidacy by Monday, according to sources.
Sitaula’s supporters today held a gathering at Rastriya Nachghar in Jamal and stressed that Sitaula was the only capable candidate from the younger generation to lead and drive the party as he has closely worked with late Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala and thus represents the establishment side in the real sense of the term.
Around 200 National General Convention representatives and Mahasamiti members, including Shiva Humagain, Taraman Gurung, Chandra Maharjan, Sudhir Sibakoti and Man Bahadur Rawal were present at the gathering today.
They urged Sitaula not to backtrack on his candidacy.
Sujata Koirala said at Reporters’ Club Nepal today that she was all prepared to fight for the party president and she had won the support of two other members – Shashanka Koirala and Shekhar Koirala of the Koirala family for the same.
“I have not announced my candidacy in order to bargain, but I have already moved ahead and there is no room for me to backtrack. Now, the others from the party should support me because If I backtrack now, women’s leadership will lag behind by 15 years,” she said.
Claiming that party workers from across the country were mounting pressure on her to contest for party president, she said, “I sacrificed the post of general secretary in the 12th convention, and I will not repeat it this time.”
The daughter of late Nepali Congress leader Girija Prasad Koirala said conspiracies were being hatched in the Congress to undermine the contributions of BP Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala through a grand design.
Meanwhile, the NC Central Working Committee meeting will resume tomorrow.
It is scheduled to discuss and endorse the party’s policy and programme to be taken to the NGC.
The establishment side is also preparing to table a proposal at the CWC for amending the party’s statute to increase the number of office bearers.
Once the amendment proposal is endorsed from the CWC, it will have to be endorsed from the NGC as well.
The Deuba faction is preparing to object to the proposal of increasing office bearers’ positions.
A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.
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