KATHMANDU, Dec 15: The Mahasamiti meeting of the major opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has started in Kathmandu on Saturday afternoon.
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurated the function at a party palace. The grand old party is holding its Mahasamiti meeting after a hiatus of six years, the highest policy making body. The meeting is expected to take crucial decisions on the party's organizational structure and set the party's political and economic direction.
The Mahasamiti meeting holds special significance as the main opposition party is holding the first of its kind meeting after its humiliating defeat in the local, provincial and parliamentary elections held last year. Party leaders had long been demanding to hold a meeting of this apex decision-making body within the party to review and analyze the causes behind the election debacle.
Five different proposals are scheduled to be presented at the meeting which will be attended by over 1,600 participants and observers from across the country. Representatives of the party's public relations committees in various countries have also arrived in the capital to take part in the meeting.
According to NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma, NC Vice President Bimalendra Nidhi will present a political paper, while General Secretary Dr Shashank Koirala will present a paper on the party's organizational structure. Similarly, another General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka will present a proposal on the amendment of the party's statute for endorsement.
Joint General Secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat will present a paper on the party's economic policy. Treasurer Sita Devi Yadav will present the income and expenditure details of the party. Preparations have been made to start the closed session of the Mahasamiti meeting on Saturday itself.
Although the four proposals have already been endorsed by the party's CWC meeting, the party's organizational report is yet to be endorsed through the CWC meeting, as the party's top leaders have remained at odds over the provisions made in the organizational structure. While a section of leaders wants to increase the number of office-bearers to 11, another side has stood against any such increment.
The difference also lies on whether to elect all office-bearers directly from the general convention or keep the existing provisions intact with the power given to the elected president to nominate a vice president, a general secretary, and a joint-general secretary. Among other things, the establishment and rival factions of the party have also remained divided over the size of the party's Central Working Committee, as one faction has suggested increasing the size to 141-member, up from the existing 85-member CWC.
All the reports will be presented at the Mahasamiti meeting after endorsing them through the CWC meeting. Spokesperson Sharma said the proposals will be reviewed by forming different groups for necessary feedback and suggestions from Sunday. The Mahasamiti meeting is expected to conclude on Tuesday after taking various important decisions on the party's organizational structures and setting strategies to move ahead.