No compromise on constitutional issues for PM berth: NC
KATHMANDU, Dec 10: The Nepali Congress (NC) has said that it would not accept any preconditions, especially relating to the contentious issues of new statute, to secure the prime ministerial berth.
The party took such a decision arguing that a compromise on constitutional issues would undermine the rights of the “sovereign” people to take a decision on the issues themselves. “As we have already decided to go for Constituent Assembly (CA) polls, we cannot accept any preconditions set by the ruling parties. This is the institutional stance of NC,” said Central Working Committee (CWC) member Arjun Narsingh KC.
A CWC meeting held at the party´s headquarters in Sanepa on Sunday afternoon took this decision. The party has taken this stance at a time when the ruling parties have demanded a package deal, including agreement on the contentious issues, in exchange for the prime ministerial berth to NC.
At the outset, NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula had briefed the meeting about the progress made in the talks with UCPN (Maoist), CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front. Commenting on the political situation, party´s CWC members had argued that the party should devise a new strategy to ensure fresh election by mid-May.
“NC has to focus on its roadmap. We must forge consensus so that fresh polls can be held at the earliest,” said CWC member Mahesh Acharya. He said the party should take proactive steps for consensus. "NC should not only focus on the prime ministerial berth, but also on implementing the party´s immediate roadmap," he said.
Altogether nine CWC members, including Acharya and KC, had put forth their views at the meeting originally held to discuss statutes of various sister organizations. Most CWC members speaking at the meeting said the condition set by UCPN (Maoist) was yet another ploy aimed at prolonging their stay in power and possibly deferring the polls for November next year.
Some CWC members had also expressed dissatisfaction over the party´s decision to pick the prime ministerial candidate when it was clear that the ruling parties were not in any mood to cede power. While CWC members Shankar Bhandari and NP Saud criticized the party leadership for announcing the party´s prime ministerial candidate in haste, another CWC member Dhan Raj Gurung defended the decision.
Gurung said the party´s announcement of the prime ministerial candidate should not be taken in a bad light. “The party´s decision has given a positive message that NC stands united,” he said. “But the party should be open to alternative leadership to ensure free and fair election by mid-May.”
Talking to media persons after the meeting, NC Spokesperson Dilendra Prasad Badu said the CWC meeting held discussions on the statutes of the party´s sister organizations -- Nepal Students Union, Nepal Women´s Association, Nepal Tarun Dal and Aadibasi Janajati Association. CWC members had pointed out mistakes and shortcomings in the statutes.
Badu said two different steering committees formed earlier under party general secretaries Prakash Man Singh and Krishna Prasad Sitaula have been asked to submit the statutes of sister organizations after incorporating suggestions from the CWC members within the next six days.