Deuba ‘in no mood’ to resign as NC chief

Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba is in no mood to step down or call party’s special general convention in immediate future, according to leaders close to him. After the NC’s biggest electoral debacle, calls for Deuba’s resignation as the party president and the party’s special general convention have grown.

The Congress party has managed to claim only 22 seats--out of 165 under the first-past-the-post system--in the House of Representatives elections held on November 26 and December 7. A section of NC leaders including Gagan Thapa, Bhimsen Das Pradhan and Rajan KC has been demanding that Deuba step down as the party president on moral ground.

NC leader Bal Krishna Khand, who was in-charge of the party’s election mobilisation committee, however, says all party leaders should take equal responsibility for the electoral setback. Deuba is yet to make any public statement on the party’s worst drubbing ever.

Many party leaders who have been critical of Deuba for his way of running the party have pressed for immediate reforms in the party structure and said a special general convention would be the best thing to do after facing a humiliating defeat at the hands of the left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre). Khand, who is close to Deuba, however, said even if a special general convention is called, it is not going to help.

Leaders and cadres must assist the leadership to revive the party’s strength, said Khand, adding that Deuba would become the leader of the Parliamentary Party “if he wishes so”. Khand did not contest the elections under the FPTP system and is a proportional representation candidate from the party. He even denied there were disputes in the party over the leadership.

Bimalendra Nidhi, who is also close to Deuba, refused to comment, saying he “is yet to gather information from all the constituencies”. “I have not assessed the situation of all electoral constituencies so I am not in a position to speak,” Nidhi told Post. Nidhi lost to Rajendra Mahato of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal in Dhanusha-3.

According to leaders, the party will soon call a meeting of its Central Working Committee (CWC) to review the election results. The CWC meeting will also discuss intra-party rift in various districts, they said.

Party leaders have said that intra-party rift was the main reason behind party’s defeat in some constituencies. However, some leaders have already said that the Congress party went to the election without any concrete agenda and that the party leaders’ refrain that “left alliance would impose an authoritarian regime” failed to click with voters. On Monday, Defence Minister Bhimsen Das Pradhan is learnt to have requested Deuba to step down as the party president.

 

Various youth leaders of the NC have suggested that top leaders take rest and hand over the party’s reins to them. This news was published was published by Kathmandu post.