Koirala's reluctance to pick PM candidate brews discontent in NC
KOSH RAJ KOIRALA
KATHMANDU, Aug 10: The ´failure´ of the Nepali Congress (NC) to pick the party´s prime ministerial candidate for consensus government has not only invited ire from the top CPN-UML leaders, but has also brewed discontent within the party.
Multiple sources confirmed that Ram Chandra Paudel, who has been close confidant of the party President Sushil Koirala, is miffed at the Koirala´s reluctance to openly support his candidacy for the prime ministerial berth.
Koirala has been maintaining that the party´s Central Working Committee (CWC) would pick the candidate at an “opportune time”.
Paudel has been arguing that the party president should support his candidacy for the prime ministerial berth as he had fully supported Koirala in the race for party´s top post. “Koirala´s reluctance to support Poudel´s candidacy has brewed discontent in the party,” confirmed a leader close to Paudel on condition of anonymity.
Koirala has lately hinted that he is ready to run for the post of prime minister. This has left Paudel disappointed.
Party insiders say Koirala has refrained from naming the party´s prime ministerial candidate as Sher Bahadur Deuba has also been staking claim to the post. Koirala is believed to have deferred the decision so as to prevent any chances of difference with the Deuba faction.
Deuba faction has claimed that there had been understanding in the party to file Paudel´s candidacy if the party was to form a majority government and Deuba´s candidacy for a national consensus government.
Amid criticisms from UML leaders KP Sharma Oli and Ishwor Pokharel, NC leaders during their meeting with UML leaders on July 25 had convinced them that it was not the right time to name prime ministerial candidate. But the UML leaders have continued insisting NC to pick the prime ministerial candidate.
NC leaders have construed this persistence to be a ploy to create an intra-party conflict in NC. "We had agreed not to pick the prime ministerial candidate until the right time comes. I am surprised why the UML leaders continue to insist our party to pick a prime ministerial candidate," said NC senior leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat.