KATHMANDU, Feb 28: Second-rung Nepali Congress (NC) leaders, at an informal meeting of the party´s central committee members, came down heavily on the party leadership for being ready to form an election government under the leadership of the chief justice.
They accused the party leaders of misinterpreting the party central committee´s decision on forming a CJ-headed government.
During a discussion on Wednesday, altogether 14 party leaders aired their views. Of them, General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Ram Sharan Mahat and Minendra Rijal tried to persuade the dissident leaders that there was no alternative to forming a CJ-headed government to remove the current Maoist-headed coalition. Central committee member Ajay Chaurasiya backed them up.
Other leaders including Mahesh Acharya, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, Bal Bahadur KC, Gagan Thapa, Nabindra Raj Joshi and Jeevan Shahi, among others, fiercely criticized the party leaders for being ready to form a CJ-headed government.
Acharya and Thapa had not only come down heavily on the party leadership but also demanded that the leaders backtrack on the decision.
"Leaders may sometime commit mistakes while taking decisions but they should have the courage to correct themselves when they find that a decision is not good for the country," one leader quoted Acharya as saying during the deliberations.
Thapa challenged the party leaders to hold a formal meeting of the central committee over the issue. "The move to form a CJ-headed government is clearly against the decision of the previous central committee meeting; so you leaders need to call a formal CC meeting to endorse the decision to go for a CJ-headed government," Thapa said at the meeting.
Some leaders including Joshi and Shahi said that the leaders still have a chance for damage control if they make the chief justice resign from that post before assuming the post of head of the executive.
According to Thapa, the party leaders informed other members that the NC is against removing constitutional difficulties in the way of amending election-related provisions in the interim constitution and the laws prior to a Supreme Court verdict on a case now before it against forming a CJ-headed government.
On Tuesday, several other second-rung leaders had lambasted the party leadership for being ready to appoint the head of the judiciary as prime minister in spite of the fact that the party central committee had said there was not to be any compromise over separation of powers and judicial independence while forming the new government.