Nepali Congress (NC) is divided on the need to call an early general convention.
Those supporting NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba say there is no need for an early general convention just two years after the last one claiming that the party lost only due to the alliance of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) while the others opine that there should be one after the humiliating loss in the recent elections. Shekhar Koirala and youth leaders are the ones who want an early one for a change in the leadership accusing Deuba of running the party in an arbitrary manner.
Leader Bal Krishna Khand stated that a general convention cannot be convened whenever one wishes. “We should first distribute active membership, and hold conventions in wards and villages and constituencies. And then a national convention can be held. It cannot be held immediately,” Khand reasoned.
He argued that a mahasamiti meeting will first amend the party statute and change the organizational structure. “The only thing that a mahasmiti meeting cannot do is changing the leadership. Those who don’t understand how NC operates are demanding an early general convention,” he claimed.
NC won just 63 seats in the House of Representatives (HoR) including the first-past-the-post (FPTP) and proportional representation (PR) systems in the recent elections. Youth leaders are calling for a change in leadership and reform in the party after the defeat.
Youth leader Pradeep Paudel, meanwhile, claimed that distribution of active membership for an early general convention will inject vigor from the grassroots. “Mahasamiti meeting will only make minor amendments in the statute. This leadership cannot challenge the unified left party in the next election. We have, therefore, raised the issue of change in leadership,” he opined.
“There is a need for a change in organizational structure to revive the party. The principles and priorities must be changed. NC must analyze the new political changes. All these things are possible only through a general convention,” he pointed.
The leaders who want an early general convention are also wary that Deuba may not even convene one even after two years due to the provision that allows the party president to extend it by a year and a half. “He plans to form provincial committees through mahasamiti meeting now and fill them with his own men. He wants to postpone the general convention after filling his men in all the places,” a leader claimed requesting anonymity.