Saturday, May 25, 2013

Deuba faction miffed with Koirala over party appointments

KATHMANDU, May 21: The seemingly cordial relation between Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala and the party’s senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has witnessed a serious rift yet again following Koirala’s decision to give full shape to various 42 departments of the party. The Deuba faction has said the decision is in violation of the principle of ‘balance’ and ‘consensus’.

Deuba faction has expressed serious reservations over Koirala’s nomination of members in the party’s various departments without paying due heed to the concerns raised by it. “We are surprised to see the list of nominations made for the party’s departments. The appointments made are not only unbalanced but also against consensus,” said NC CWC member Bimalendra Nidhi, a close confidant of Deuba.

Nidhi said they had submitted a list of about 1,000 possible candidates from their faction for appointments after Koirala’s request. “He [Koirala] had assured us that he would make the appointments in a balanced manner. But as we read the list of nominations made, we were astonished,” Nidhi further said.

Koirala announced nomination of 21 members each in 42 departments of the party on Sunday. Leaders close to Deuba alleged that Koirala has not picked even 200 names nominated by the faction while appointing 882 members.

“Koirala has failed to show his magnanimity. We are receiving phone calls from leaders in various districts who doubt whether Koirala will short-change our faction while distributing election tickets,” said another Deuba-aligned leader, asking to be unnamed.

The leader further said they have accepted that Koirala as the elected president should be allowed to make the majority of appointments within all the party’s organizations. “Koirala could have spread a positive message among the party rank and file that the party is moving ahead unitedly if he had ensured proportionate representation from both sides. But he doesn’t seem to be willing to do that,” the CWC member commented. “We are demanding a fair representation, not a lion’s share.”

In a meeting with Koirala in the second week of May, Deuba and Nidhi had asked Koirala to address the issue of en masse resignation by Deuba-aligned leaders from their respective departments after Koirala announced 12 more departments other than those provisioned in the party’s statute. They had also cautioned that the decision to pass the party’s regulations through majority votes was against the provisions of the party’s statute.

Not only did he ignore these concerns raised by the Deuba faction, Koirala also rejected Deuba’s suggestion to form the departments with 10 members each. Deuba faction leaders said they had submitted a list of about 1,000 prospective candidates for appointments as Koirala did not specify as to how many members he planned to appoint in each of the departments. “The appointments are neither balanced nor made through consensus,” Nidhi told Republica.

However, Koirala faction has maintained that the appointments were balanced and were made in consensus with Deuba faction. “Party president made the appointments after holding discussions with Deuba faction. Whatever he has done is based on consensus with Deuba. It is not justifiable to raise any objections now,” said CWC member Dil Bahadur Gharti, who is close to Koirala.

Gharti said the delay by Deuba faction to sit for discussions on the issue had deferred the appointments. “It is always better late than never. The appointments have been made finally,” he further said.

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