As the Nepali Congress prepares to call a meeting of its Mahasamiti, rival factions of the party are busy devising their strategies on the leadership and other issues, mainly the party’s electoral defeat.
Leaders close to Prime Minister and party President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel are accusing each other of promoting factionalism in the NC. Despite repeated pledges, Deuba has not called a meeting of the Central Working Committee. Both the factions are working on their agendas for the CWC meeting.
After the party’s poor showing in the recently concluded elections to the House of Representatives (HoR) and provincial assemblies, Deuba is facing increased pressure from the party rank and file to step down. Deuba supporters, however, say such a meeting will be called only after the Election Commission comes up with final poll results, which will take at least a month from now.
Meanwhile, both the factions are holding separate meetings of leaders close to them. After the polls, the Poudel faction has held at least three meetings in the Capital, while Deuba has also consulted with the leaders close to him. The rift has grown after Poudel’s group blamed an “inefficient” party leadership for the NC’s worst performance ever in the vote. Poudel’s team has also started a campaign for leadership change but the faction is not sure how to push the agenda.
Following mounting pressure, party President Deuba has agreed to call a meeting of the Mahasamiti, the top decision making body of the party after the general convention. Differences between the rival camps on the agenda threaten to foil the meeting. According to leaders, a meeting of the Central Working Committee (CWC) will schedule the Mahasamiti gathering.
Deuba has voiced displeasure at Poudel’s moves. Leaders close to the PM say any issues related to the party must be discussed in internal forums. “The NC is preparing to call a CWC meeting to discuss the issues,” said leader Prakash Sharan Mahat, a Deuba supporter. “Leaders are free to consult with their supporters but it’s inappropriate to hold separate meetings,” he added.