KATHMANDU, Nov 29: The top leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC) have intensified their efforts to form and lead the new government even before the final results of the general elections.
Although it will take a few more days before the final results of the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies elections held on November 20 are announced, half a dozen NC leaders have started discussions with leaders of various political parties with aspirations to become the prime minister. Half a dozen leaders within the NC, which has so far won 53 constituencies under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) election system by allying with parties including the CPN (Maoist Center) and the CPN (United Socialist), have expressed their aspirations to become the next Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also the party president, has discussed the matter with Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal. PM Deuba has advanced the discussion to continue the current alliance. It is said that following discussions with Dahal and Nepal, Deuba agreed to continue the current alliance and move forward for the economic development and prosperity of the country by including other parties in the process.
Sources claim that the top leaders of the three parties concluded that the electoral coordination was partially successful in the provincial assembly and House of Representatives elections held on November 20. Sources also claimed that the leaders are unanimous that after the results of the election, they will discuss the formation of the government of the federal and the provinces as well as other issues and move forward in an agreement.
With the continuation of the current coalition, it is estimated that there is a strong possibility that NC President Deuba can become the Prime Minister again and that he will be elected as the leader of the NC parliamentary party. However, not only NC leaders Ram Chandra Paudel, Prakash Man Singh, Shashank Koirala, but also General Secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa have put themselves forward as the next Prime Minister.
General Secretary Thapa has been saying that he will contest for the post of leader of the parliamentary party after the final results of the election. Leaders Paudel and Singh met with Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal and UML Chairman KP Oli and discussed matters including the formation of a new government. Paudel, who was elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Tanahun 1, has been saying that his leadership is necessary for the country. Sources claim that in a meeting with Unified Socialist Chairman Nepal on Monday, he asked him to support him to lead the new government. He also held discussions with leaders including Prime Minister Deuba, who is also the party president, and former NC vice president Bimalendra Nidhi.
Similarly, Singh, who was elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Kathmandu 1, has been presenting himself as the next Prime Minister by saying that he has worked from the grassroots to the number two position in the party. Singh, who is in favor of taking the leadership after winning the trust of NC President Deuba, met with UML Chairman Oli on Sunday. Former General Secretary Shashank Koirala, who was elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Nawalpur East 1, has claimed that he is the next Prime Minister.
Likewise, NC Vice President Purna Bahadur Khadka has not publicly claimed to be the Prime Minister, but has been telling those close to him that he will lead the party and the government after Deuba. Khadka has been presenting himself as Deuba's successor. Khadka has been elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Surkhet 1.
On the other hand, leader Shekhar Koirala, who faced NC President Deuba in the party's 14th general convention, is also in favor of 'power' sharing in the party. Those close to him claim that he is in favor of giving Deuba the responsibility of running the party and moving forward with his own strategy of running the government. If there is no consensus within the party, Shekhar is ready to compete for the leader of the parliamentary party by leading others to become the leader of the parliamentary party as in the convention. Even after the election results were in his favor, Shekhar is still active in the programs of his area.
Thapa, who was elected as General Secretary from Shekhar's panel, has also been presenting himself as the Prime Minister and the parliamentary party leader. Thapa, who has been saying that he will be active in politics for the next 10 years, has been saying that he will work for the benefit of the country, the people and the party for the rest of the time. Thapa was elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Kathmandu 4. Thapa and Shekhar Koirala, who are preparing to compete for the leader of the parliamentary party, agree to move forward, and many doubts have been expressed that the leaders of the other organizations will be divided in the election of the leader of the parliamentary party as in the 14th NC general convention.