KATHMANDU, May 7: With Sher Bahadur Deuba-led faction sticking to it demand to settle internal party disputes before joining the government, Nepali Congress (NC) establishment faction has stepped up efforts to reach out to the rival faction through informal channels.
Sources said NC party President Sushil Koirala on Sunday evening held meeting with Chitra Lekha Yadav, who was elected as the party´s treasurer during the 12th general convention from Deuba panel, and discussed on settling the rows and bring Deuba faction leaders on board the Baburam Bhattarai-led government. Koirala is also learnt to have held meeting with another influential leader from Deuba faction, Khum Bahadur Khadka.
As the Deuba faction decided not to join the government until the disputes, including the row seen in the formation of Nepal Student Union (NSU) ad hoc committee are resolved, Koirala´s close aide and party´s General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula went to Deuba´s residence at Budhanilakantha, Saturday. Likewise, Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel also talked with Deuba over the phone on recent disputes.
The latest initiatives from Koirala faction followed calls on the party presient to address the genuine concerns of Deuba faction including the NSU row.
During a joint meeting of CWC and PP leaders of his faction Sunday afternoon, Deuba had informed that Sitaula came to his residence. “But there has not been any serious efforts to address our concerns yet,” said Purna Bahadur Khadka, a leader close to Deuba.
Khadka said the joint meeting demanded the party establishment first settle the internal problems of the party. “The ad hoc committee of the NSU was formed without holding consultation and all 28 members from our sides have tendered resignations,” said Khadka.
Deuba faction leaders also concluded they won´t join the government until contentious issues of the new constitution including the system of governance and federalism are resolved. “Nevertheless, we have no reservation over the persons sent to the cabinet,” said Khadka.
Talking to Republica, Ramesh Lekhak said the joint meeting held detailed discussion on issues related to federalism. “The meeting concluded there should be no more than seven provinces and that the new constitution should be promulgated within the stipulated deadline of May 27,” he said.
Deuba faction leaders alleged the party president of flouting the party´s statutory provision by sending ministers to the cabinet without duly endorsing from the party´s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting. Deuba faction has been boycotting CWC meeting over the rows.
“Deuba has resigned from the CWC after the row. The president should first create an environment for us to attend the CWC meeting,” said Gopal Man Shrestha.