Monday, November 30, 2020

Deuba dictates terms while selecting candidates for National Assembly, leaves other leaders dissatisfied


Ishwor Aryal


Kathmandu, 5 January (2020) - Alleging that Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has moved ahead unilaterally in selecting candidates for the Upper House, the faction under the leadership of Ram Chandra Poudel has expressed dissatisfaction.

NC officeholders' meeting on Saturday made public the names of 16 candidates for the National Assembly elections. Elections for 18 seats are about to take place. NC left two seats in Province-2 in alliance with Samajwadi Party.

"Senior Leader Poudel did not attend the Saturday meeting and they (Deuba faction) selected the candidates unilaterally," Ram Krishna Yadav of Poudel faction told Lokantar. "Winning or losing is part of elections but they did not take other side's consent in selecting candidates."

Despite Poudel faction's boycott, the Central Committee meeting on 27 December fixed date for party convention. Deuba was criticised for failing to discuss with the dissatisfied group to fix date for a huge occasion like the convention.

Central Committee meeting has decided to organise the convention in February 2020. But Poudel faction has made up the mind to pressure to amend that date.

Additionally, Poudel faction has announced that it will not take part in formal meetings citing the adding of departments, extending the tenure of youth wing Tarun Dal and suspending many Articles in the party statute without their approval. Poudel faction has called for an assembly of district presidents on 6 January. It will make a new strategy only after that.

Boycotting NC's central committee meeting at central office, Sanepa, senior leaders Poudel, Prakash Man Singh and Minendra Rijal assembled at the residence of Shashank Koirala in Maharajgunj.

They sent a "reminder" to President Deuba to refrain from taking unilateral decision in selecting candidates for National Assembly elections.

Poudel did not attend officeholders' meeting at Deuba's residence in Budhanilkantha on Saturday that was called to select candidates.

"President Deuba had phone Poudel to attend the meeting," a source told Lokantar. "But he refused to come and said that you can decide as you like. Then we selected the candidates."

One leader in Deuba faction said that Poudel faction did not attend the meeting because they assumed that NC will lose most of the seats in National Assembly elections.

But some of the selected candidates belong to Poudel faction. Bhola Panjiyar in Province-2 and Bal Krishna Pandey in Province-5 are in that faction.

President Deuba hopes that his party will win two seats in Province-2 after making alliance with Samajwadi Party.

Source claims that based Panjiyar has been made the candidate from Poudel faction on that hope.

But in other seats Deuba unilaterally selected candidates.

National Assembly houses 59 members and the tenure of 19 among them expires on 3 March. Eighteen among them are elected on the basis of the vote weightage of Provincial Assembly members, Municipality Mayors and Deputy Mayors and Rural Municipality Chiefs and Vice-chiefs. The remaining one will be appointed by the President.