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Sher Bahadur Deuba Photo: Dinesh Gole/Nagarik/Republica

Amidst dispute, Deuba plans to appoint office bearers

By Our Reporter
Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to propose the names for the appointment in the vacant posts of office-bearers in the party in the central committee meeting which will resume from April 22.
The central committee meeting of the party that had begun on March 23 was put on hold following the demise of party leader Khum Bahadur Khadka.
However, president Deuba’s plan to fulfill the vacant posts two years after the holding of the 13th general convention of the party is likely to draw flak from the leaders of the opposing fraction in the party.
The leaders close to the fraction led by Ram Chandra Poudel have openly challenged Deuba not to accept the nominations of the office bearers made breaching the party statute. The party statue has a provision that the office-bearers should be nominated within two months of the general convention.
Dr Shekhar Koirala and Navindra Raj Joshi have said that appointment of the officer bearers two years after the general convention will be against the party statute.
Again, Deuba himself is unable to select the vice-president, general secretary and joint-general secretary from among several aspiring leaders from his own camp. Bijay Gachchhadar, Bimalendra Nidhi, Gopal Man Shrestha and Bal Krishna Khand are among the leaders vying for the post of vice-president. However, the statute does not allow Deuba to appoint Gachhadar office-bearer as they should be from among the elected central members.
Gachhadar joined the NC by merging his party before the elections in November last year. He had deserted NC 10 years ago by joining the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum in 2007.
Deuba is likely to appoint Nidhi vice president while Purna Bahadur Khadka is likely to be general secretary. The Poudel faction is demanding the post of joint-general secretary, but Deuba is not likely to offer the post fearing that he will lose majority of the office bearers, as Dr Shashank Koirala and Sita Devi Yadav were elected general secretary and treasurer in the general convention.  Shusil Koirala had appointed Purna Bahadur Khadka joint general secretary in the earlier central committee although Khadka was Deuba’s candidate. But this time Deuba is not likely to reciprocate it. He may appoint Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat joint-general secretary of the party.
Similarly, Deuba is yet to appoint six members in the central committee, all of the posts should be filled up by appointing Gachchhadar’s men.
Although Deuba is trying to strength his fraction by appointing office-bearers, he is likely to lose the grip as disgruntled leaders can join the Poudel camp. Arjun Narasingh KC and Chandra Bhandari have already left him. Moreover, almost all NC cadres and leaders who have not been in the post, blame Deuba for the party’s humiliating defeat. As such, the appointment of office-bearers is likely to face wrath from the rank and file of the party.

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