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NC leaders divide over election debacle

By Our Reporter
The protracted Central Committee meeting of the Nepali Congress called to discuss the humiliating defeat of the party in the three-tier elections concluded with divided views. While the faction led by Ram Chandra Poudel blamed party president Sher Bahadur Deuba for party’s defeat in the polls, the faction led by party president Deuba did not admit the blame and concluded the meeting stating that the entire central committee was responsible for the defeat.
However, the enmity between the two factions exposed further even after the conclusion of the meeting when president Deuba called a meeting for Monday to nominate the officer bearers the Poudel faction threatened to boycott it, forcing Deuba to postpone the meeting.
Although all cadres, supporters and voters of the oldest democratic party take president Deubaresponsible  for the party’s defeat, he did not admit the truth and tried his best to suppress the views of the leaders who pointed their fingers at Deuba for the historic defeat of the party.
Yet, he drew severe flak from leaders like K. B. Gurung, Dr Shekhar Koirala, Prakash Man Singh, Bal Bahadur KC, Dhan Raj Gurung and others for wrongly handling the party and promoting factionalism.
Poudel even criticised Deuba in a written statement. Interestingly, leaders like Arjun Nara Singh KC who were with Deuba and Krishna Sitaula, who led a third fraction joined Poudel to trim Deuba’s hold in the party.
Similarly, a few youth leaders led by Gagan Thapa and Navindra Raj Joshi chose a middle path albeit they also blamed Deuba for the defeat.
Now fed-up with criticism from the central committee members and even the media, Deuba is trying to woo Poudel camp by offering the post of joint-secretary to the group. However, leaders like Shekhar Koirala and Gurung have opposed the idea of appointing office-bearers two years after the general convention. They have termed the move as illegal. And if Deuba makes appointment unilaterally, his appointments are likely to become null from the court because the party statue says the appointments should be made in two months after the general convention. NC held its 13th general convention in March 2016.
Sources said Deuba is preparing to appoint Bimalendra Nidhi to the post of vice president, Purna Bahadur Khadka to the post of general secretary and Min Bishwakrma as joint general secretary.

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