KATHMANDU, Oct 7: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba is unlikely to fill the vacant office bearers positions and Central Working Committee members in the party before the Chhath festival, party leaders said.
Though the party statute has stated that vacant posts in the party including heads of departments should be appointed within two months of party general convention, Deuba has not been able to fill the positions even eight months after his election.
“The party president is finding it difficult to appoint office bearers and central committee members because there are many aspirants and the positions are limited,” said Padma Narayan Chaudhary.
Earlier, Deuba had said that he would fill the vacant posts after the general convention of the party's student wing, Nepal Students' Union. After the conclusion of the NSU convention, Deuba assured the party leaders of filling the vacant posts only after the general convention of the Nepal Women Association, the party's woman wing, and the Tarun Dal, party's youth arm.
Following disputes, the district-level conventions of the Tarun Dal have yet to be concluded in 20 districts. After the dispute, the general convention of the NC's youth wing has been rescheduled for the first week of November.
NC leaders claim that President Deuba is reluctant to appoint office bearers in the party prior to the convention of the Tarun Dal as the appointments would affect the election result of the Tarun Dal.
After Deuba was elected party president, the party's establishment faction was able to secure leadership positions in the NSU and Nepal Women Association. Party's influential leader Khum Bahadur Khadka, who is eying party's vice presidency, has been supporting Deuba in the party's sister wings' elections.
A vice president, general secretary, joint general secretary, 11 central committee members and heads of over three dozen departments have yet to be appointed in the NC.
Those eying the vice presidency also include Bimalendra Nidhi, Khum Bahadur Khadka and Gopal Man Shrestha. After Nidhi was appointed Deputy Prime Minister leading the NC's ministers in the Pushpa Kamal Dahal's government, both Khadka and Shrestha have been pressuring Deuba to appointment themselves as vice president.
“There isn't any dispute over my name for vice president as I have remained a loyal supporter of Deuba and I am also senior among leaders in the party,” Shrestha said. “The delay in filling the vacant positions is sending out a negative message among party cadres.”
Similarly, leader Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Purna Bahadur Khadka are aspiring to become general secretary of the party. According to party insiders, Deuba is favoring Karki for the post.
Man Bahadur Biswakarma and Farmullah Mansoor are lobbying to become joint general secretary.
Party senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel faction is also stacking claim for the office bearers post from the panel.