NC rival faction presses for timely general convention, establishment seeks to defer it

Published On: July 3, 2019 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

CWC meeting called for July 7 likely to dwell on general convention as well

KATHMANDU, July 3: At a time when its role in the national politics has fallen under serious scrutiny, the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), is deeply embroiled in an internal row over whether the party should expedite preparations for the 14th general convention on the scheduled date or give shape to various party bodies that haven't been formed so far.

While the party's establishment faction stands for giving shape to the remaining departments of the party as envisaged by the party's statute, the rival factions led by Ram Chandra Paudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula have made a case for expediting preparations for holding the party's 14th general convention due for mid-March, 2020. Party insiders say President Sher Bahadur Deuba wants to give shape to all the remaining departments of the party before starting the second round of National Awareness Campaign.

Rival faction leaders argue that the intention of the party establishment to constitute the party's departments that the party leadership did not show any interest to over three years since the last general convention is nothing but a ploy to defer the general convention. Although the NC president can defer the general convention for a year according to the party statute if there are some exceptional circumstances, rival faction leaders are pressing the party leadership hard to hold the 14th general convention immediately after the four-year term of the current CWC expires in mid-March next year.

NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said that the process to give shape to the party's bodies that have not been constituted yet will not affect the holding of the general convention on time. “We have called a Central Working Committee meeting for July 7. The meeting will also dwell on the issue of expediting preparation for holding the general convention,” said Sharma.

Sharma, however, said that it is difficult to hold the General Convention without holding conventions at the levels of tole, wards, municipality, provincial electoral constituency, federal electoral constituency, district and provincial committees. “Holding the party's general convention is the eighth step. We need to first climb over seven steps after holding conventions of all local, district and provincial committees of the party,” he said.

As holding conventions of these local bodies will take a considerably long time, rival faction leaders say that the preparations to give full shape to the party's various departments at this point of time simply means deferring the conventions of the party's local level committees. They argue that not putting the conventions of the local level committees in priority means that that the establishment faction deliberately wants to defer the party's 14th general convention.

NC Central Working Committee member Badri Pandey said it would be unfortunate for the party if party leadership chose to defer the convention by misusing the provision meant for difficult circumstances to hold the general convention. “It is good for the health of the party to hold the general convention on time. But the preparations made so far show that the general convention won't be held on the stipulated date,” he said.

The party's rival faction leaders have demanded that the general convention not be deferred as it would not take long time to hold the conventions of the party's local level committees as per the transitional arrangements made by the recently-held Mahasamiti meeting. The rival factions in the party have proposed giving certain time to the current working committees of all sister organizations and rather focus on expediting preparations for holding the party's general convention on time.

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