KATHMANDU, July 23: Senior leader of Nepali Congress (NC) Ram Chandra Poudel and his loyalists have blamed party President Sher Bahadur Deuba of failing to check the advance of the main opposition UML in the local elections.
NC, the largest party in term of seats won in the second Constituent Assembly elections, had miserably failed to stop UML in the recent local polls despite forging alliance with other ruling parties having vast power and resources at their disposal.
Disgruntled NC leaders said that the party's disastrous performance could have been avoided had the party establishment led by Deuba paid enough attention in candidacy selection and accommodated diverse views in the party. They said that UML was able to expand its influence in the party's stronghold due to Deuba's failure to accommodate the dissident voices.
"The party leadership has miserably failed to unite the party. The party should accommodate all sides and move forward in collective leadership to avoid similar performance in the future. One person or one faction should not lead the party," a leader present in the meeting quoted Poudel as saying. Poudel also used the occasion to criticize the delays in giving full shape to the cabinet and excluding dissident voices in the party.
Poudel said this while addressing the party's central working committee meeting that kicked off in the capital on Saturday. The meeting seeks to analyze what went wrong and who are to blame for the disastrous performance in the local polls and find the way forward for the party.
Poll results of the first two phases of local elections show that NC, the largest party in the parliament, trailing behind UML with significant margin.
The NC and UML have respectively won a total of 276 and 227 local units respectively, while CPN (Maoist Center) have registered victory in 84 local units. The party formed alliances with other parties in more than hundred local units to ensure victory in core constituencies.
Besides Poudel, around two dozen leaders from both the establishment faction and Poudel faction had addressed the first day of the meeting. Leaders close to Deuba misdirected the blame on the party's internal feud, betrayal from dissident leaders and party's failure to counter propaganda spread by UML.
"The purpose of the meeting is to correct past mistakes and do better in the future elections. The party will formulate strategies for the upcoming elections of local, federal and provincial governments based on the feedbacks received from the leaders," said NC leader Arjun Narsing KC.
NC Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha said that the party will also debate on the election reports received from various district committees. He said that the party is partly unhappy with UML's gains in party's stronghold in mid and far western districts like Dang and Dadeldhura.
"Party's dismal performance in districts across Arun River is also a matter of concerns," said Shrestha.