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Deuba to push back national convention date, opposition seek early convention

By Our Reporter
Like in the ruling Nepal Communist Party, dispute has widened in the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, regarding the issue of its 14th general convention.
The oldest democratic party of Nepal has divided into two clear faction over the party next general convention with the establishment led by party president Sher Bahadur Deuba showing their unwillingness to hold the 14th general convention (GC) of the party within the timeframe, and two rival factions led by Ram Chandra Paudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula exerting pressure for the timely general convention which should be held within March next year.
Recently, Nepali Congress leader Dr. Shekhar Koirala started consultation with the district chairs of the party to launch a signature campaign to lobby for the convention on schedule.
“I will hold group meeting with district chairs soon for timely general convention, “Koirala was quoted by The Rising Nepal.
The NC statute has a provision to hold even the mid-term general convention if 40 per cent of the General Convention representatives demand for it in writing.
“If the district chairs agree to launch the signature campaign, the process will begin soon,” said Koirala.
As per the general rule, the Nepali Congress has to hold its 14th general convention in March, 2020.
However, the next year’s general convention of the party has become uncertain, as party establishment and rival factions have their own interpretation of the transitional provision of the party statute.
Deuba loyal leaders argued that the general convention could not be held in the absence of a general convention organising committee in all levels.
” Let’s first form an ad-hoc committee in all levels for the purpose as per the transitional provision of the party statute,” Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma was quoted by the same daily.
But rival factions argued that there was no need to form ad-hoc committee for holding the general convention in all levels.
The issue of upcoming general convention has taken a form of public debate after the rival factions led by senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel, Krishna Prasad Sitaula and the establishment faction led by party president Deuba engaged in a sparring over the time of the general convention.
Paudel and Sitaula have been demanding that the general convention should be held in time, by March 2020 while the Deuba faction has been advocating for the postponement of the convention by referring provisions in the party statute.
Obviously, Deuba wants to avoid the convention fearing that he will lose his grip in the party. But other leaders blamed Deuba for turning the ruling party of the past into a tiny opposition because of his controversial and personal decisions.
Latest activities of Dr. Koirala showed that he would challenge Deuba in the upcoming convention as many cadres and leaders of the party pinned their hope on Koirala.
“IT seems only Dr. Koirala can give a new lease of life to NC, other leaders failed to show their leadership quality,” said Harshajeet Lama, former lawmaker of the party.
NC spokesperson Sharma, as quoted by The Rising Nepal, said that no preparation for the upcoming general convention had been made due to absence of ward, municipal and constituency committees which are required as per the recently amended party statute.
Sharma claimed that the party as per its statute could add one year and another six months’ term as per the political party related Act of the party Central Working Committee.

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