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Nepali Congress to hold key meeting amid political deadlock

Last Updated: Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 20:03

Kathmandu: Nepali Congress party, the largest coalition partner in the government, will hold a key meeting of its leaders, amid growing dissatisfaction over the elevation of Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala as the Deputy Prime Minister.
Nepali Congress party will hold its general body convention next week to chalk its future strategy amid deadlock with the Maoists over the peace process. It will discuss amendment to the statute of the party and clarify the party`s position on state restructuring, Nepali Congress sources said.

The convention, which will be held from November 1 with the participation of 1,250 representatives from across the country, has four main agenda: amendment in the statute, discussion on the general secretary`s political report, party`s policy regarding restructuring of the state based on federalism and current political situation of the country, said Bimalendra Nidhi, the party General Secretary.

The party is likely to push for a joint leadership with appropriate amendment in the statute of the party, Nidhi said.

There is growing demand for de-centralisation of authority, as the present statute has vested vast authority in the President, sources said.

Some of the top leaders of the party have expressed resentment at elevation of 56-year-old Sujata as the Deputy Prime Minister. Sujata rise in Nepal’s politics has led to comparisons with other famous daughters in South Asia who headed their country`s government like Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto and Sheikh Hasina.

Gopal Man Singh, vice president of the Nepali Congress, underlined the need for "more democratic organisation" and "joint leadership".

We need more democratic organization to counter the growing influence of communists, Singh said, adding "Our main thirst is joint leadership, which is the only way to uplift the party from the present state".

Only a joint leadership can provide the party a strong and effective leadership that can counter the growing influence of Maoists and provide an alternate to party supreme GP Koirala, said Pralhad Rijal, the editor of Rashtriya Janamanch.

The party meet comes at a crucial time, with the country deadlocked over its peace process and a Maoists threat to derail the reconciliation effort in the country.

The Maoists have been blocking Parliament to step up pressure on the CPN-UML-led government to discuss in Parliament the controversial decision of President Ram Baran Yadav to reinstate Army Chief General Rukmangad Katawal, who has now retired.

Prachanda had blamed the Katawal for trying to resist the integration of former rebels into the military as stipulated under the 2006 peace agreement.

The political standoff has put new stresses on Nepal`s reconciliation efforts after the end of the decade-long insurgency in 2006, amid fears that the stalled peace process may be derailed if the deadlock is not ended soon.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 20:03

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