KATHMANDU, April 7: The intra-party dispute following the formation of a 101-member ad hoc committee of Nepal Students´ Union (NSU) has badly affected the nationwide Awareness Campaign launched by the Nepali Congress (NC) for timely peace and constitution.
The party establishment faction has been compelled to reschedule the campaign scheduled for April 1-8 after party senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba refused to address rallies as planned prior to the “unilateral” formation of NSU ad hoc committee.
The NC Central Working Committee (CWC) had decided to depute central level leaders including party President Sushil Koirala, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel to address rallies organized in all 75 districts.
While Koirala was scheduled to address rallies in various far western districts, Deuba was to address gatherings in eastern part of the country. The CWC, likewise, had decided to depute party Vice-president Paudel to address rallies in the central region.
As per the original plan, all the top three leaders were scheduled to jointly address a gathering in Birgunj on Sunday, marking the conclusion of the campaign. “But this could not happen as Deuba refused to address rallies, expressing serious dissatisfaction over the formation of NSU ad hoc committee,” said a CWC member close to Koirala.
With the cancellation of the rally in Birgunj, Koirala is now scheduled to address a rally in Kapilbastu and Paudel in Kathmandu on Sunday.
Party insiders said Koirala cancelled all his scheduled rallies in far western districts keeping in view mounting dissatisfaction of the rival faction. “The party president has chosen to address rallies in central parts of the country such as in Janakpur and Sindhuli that were originally scheduled to be addressed by Paudel,” said the CWC member.
Deuba faction has maintained that the jumbo ad hoc NSU committee has been formed against the earlier agreement to form a 61-member inclusive ad hoc committee with 28 members from their side.
Party insiders say not only has the formation of ad hoc committee riled Deuba faction, but also a large section within the establishment faction as the ad hoc committee does not have representation of a huge of NSU leaders belonging to the camp led by former NSU president Pradip Paudel, who was elected in the NSU general convention held after the unification of the party.
A group of NSU leaders close to the establishment faction have also been staging protests, expressing reservation over the composition of the ad hoc committee. While on Tuesday they staged sit-in protests at NC Central Office in Sanepa, the same group of NSU leaders had taken out a “lantern rally” from Ratnapark on Friday, demanding “internal democracy” in the party.
“Whosoever has incited the party president into taking such a decision it seems they utterly failed to take into account current national politics. The decision has weakened the party president. No party can ever be strong when the president is weak”" said CWC member Gagan Thapa.