Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba (third from left) and other leaders during the party’s central committee meeting at the PM’s Residence, Baluwatar, Kathmandu on Thursday. Photo: Dipendra Rokka/Republica
KATHMANDU, Jan 19: An overwhelming majority of Nepali Congress Central Working Committee (CWC) members have come down heavily on party president and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, holding him responsible for the party’s humiliating defeat in the parliamentary and provincial assembly polls.
Addressing the party’s first CWC meeting held after the parliamentary and provincial assembly polls at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Baluwatar, the CWC members accused Deuba of running the party without adhering to the party’s statute and failing to give any positive message to the people about the party. The leaders close to the rival factions even demanded dissolving the party’s committee formed against the provisions in the party’s statute.
Speaking on the occasion, senior NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel said that NC has suffered a huge loss after Deuba assumed the party presidency. “Astrologers have said that he will be prime miser for the seventh time but the party has faced only loss after he became the party’s president. The current poll result is the consequence of bad days of the party president. He has to take the responsibility for this,” he said.
Paudel alleged that Deuba did not have even the slightest cue that the second largest and the third largest party were forging an electoral alliance and failed even to prepare a good poll strategy to save the party from the humiliating defeat.
Although the agenda of the meeting was said to be the National Assembly election, most CWC members spent their time criticizing the party leadership for the poll debacle.
NC youth leader Pradip Paudel said that the party leadership had failed to attract the young generation. “Our voters were disappointed as the party leadership failed to instill hope for the present and assurances for the future in them. People, who were frustrated with the repeated game of making and breaking government, were easily attracted by the slogan of prosperity and stability,” he said. Paudel said that NC had failed to inform the people what the party would be doing in the coming years.
CWC members argued that the party’s decision to stand against the then CIAA Chief Lokman Singh Karki’s impeachment and stand in favor of Chief Justice Sushila Karki had huge bearings on the recent poll result. They also argued that the party had also failed to educate why it could not bring amendment to the constitution to address the aspirations of marginalized groups of people.
CWC member Nabindra Raj Joshi argued that the party’s leadership had failed to take into account the impacts of the key appointments and others decisions on the party’s rank and file. He also argued that the failure of the party to educate people about the role played by the party in the past and its role in the present had caused the humiliating defeat in the election.
CWC members Paudel, Ram Sharan Mahat, Arjun Joshi, Pradip Paudel, Dhan Raj Gurung, among others, had asked the party’s leadership not to repeat the names of old leaders in the proportional list. “Nepali Congress has to give a message that the party will now give opportunity to the younger generation. We must stop repeating candidates in the proportional electoral system,” Paudel had said.
A section of leaders had even demanded dissolving the parliamentary board and central work performance committee “formed against the spirit of party’s statute”. They also demanded that the party leadership treat all equally based on their individual merits.
Speaking on the occasion, CWC member Chandra Bhandari said that the current leadership of the party had completely failed in handling the party. He also urged the party leadership to hand the party’s reins to the young generation.
CWC member Kalyan Gurung alleged that the government had appointed governor with Panchayati background. Only a few CWC members close to President Deuba defended him. They argued that holding elections within the stipulated constitutional deadline was a success of President Deuba.
The meeting is slated to resume at 11 am on Friday. The meeting on Thursday largely focused on the election review. The rival faction led by Ram Chandra Paudel had been demanding the meeting immediately after the parliamentary and provincial assembly elections.