KATHMANDU, Dec 16: Nepali Congress (NC) top leaders have vowed to reinstate the party as the largest in the country in the next elections through strengthening of internal unity and by breathing new life into the party rank and file.
Addressing the inaugural function of the party's Mahasamiti meeting in the capital on Saturday, the NC's top guns acknowledged having faced humiliating defeat in elections due to factionalism and lack of cooperation.
Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel, who contested against each for the NC leadership two years ago, linked their raised hands at the dais to convey a message of unity to the rank and file.
Recalling that the party lost the three-tier elections last year due to an internal rivalry, NC President Deuba stressed internal unity and cooperation. “I believe we can reinstate the party in first place in the upcoming elections, through internal unity, trust and cooperation,” he said.
He was of the view that the Mahasamiti would impart new life and energy to the party through new policy and new strategy. Stating that the NCP government had been unable to deliver justice or maintain peace and security in the country, Deuba insisted on the NC playing the role of a strong opposition from both parliament and the street. He accused the ruling NCP of failing to address the grievances of Madhes or book the guilty in the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta in Kanchanpur.
Party senior leader Paudel also stressed the need to regain the party's strength through internal unity and trust. “Betrayal within the party has brought NC to this pass. We should realize this and come together to elect a strong leadership through the upcoming 14th general convention before facing the next elections,” said Paudel.
Accusing the government of nurturing corruption, Paudel claimed that Nepal won't ever become a developed country until the NC returns to strength and unity. “Factionalism always exists in political parties but it should be managed and the leadership needs the commitment to accommodate all sections and to deliver justice,” he said.
Party Vice-President Bimalendra Nidhi urged party leaders to focus on making NC the first party instead of eyeing the top position in the party. “NC should be ready to lead both as the opposition and as the ruling party in future,” said Nidhi adding, "Ideological clarity is a must for reviving the party."
Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, another party vice president, urged both Deuba and Paudel to work for unity in the party leadership. He recalled past anecdotes of NC's defeat in times of internal rivalry. “NC will emerge intact from the Mahasamiti and our leadership should express strong commitment to unity,” said Gachchhadar.
Party General Secretary Shashank Koirala, Treasurer Sita Devi Yadav, leaders Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Ram Saran Mahat, Arjun Narsing KC, Prakash Saran Mahat and others also stressed the need for the party to regain strength through unity, a fresh agenda and clear policies.
The main opposition NC is holding the meeting of the Mahasamiti, the highest policy-making body, after a hiatus of six years, mainly due to factionalism and internal disputes. The meeting is scheduled to discuss political and economic proposals and future strategy. The Mahasamiti will conclude on Tuesday after reviewing its organizational and leadership structure. The meeting comes a year before the next general convention.
The Mahasamiti meeting holds special significance as the main opposition party is holding the first such meeting after its humiliating defeat in the local, provincial and parliamentary elections held last year and its unification with the Bijay Gachchhadar-led Madhesi People's Right Forum-Democratic.