The Sher Bahadur Deuba faction of the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has displayed some flexibility expressing readiness to correct some decisions with the rest of the party coming together in opposition.
Deputy General Secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat, who reached the party office even as 45 district presidents are continuing the third day of meeting on invitation of senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel on Wednesday, said President Deuba is always ready to correct some decisions.
"President is always ready to correct the working schedule," Mahat, who is from Deuba's faction, stated. "But the central committee meeting must be held first for that. How can we discuss when they don't come to the meeting?"
He claimed that Deuba has always taken initiative for consensus and pointed that the central committee meeting was postponed four times. "The working schedule was brought after nothing worked," he argued.
He said the decisions can be corrected through the central committee meeting if necessary and pointed there is no need to call a separate meeting for such petty issues. He also opined that the district presidents should not take sides. "We should not talk about factions. This is time to put the party at the center. The government is on the way to curtail citizens' rights. Nobody stands to benefit by making a mountain out of the molehill," he stressed.
He urged all the party leaders to prepare for the upcoming general convention.
Presidents of NC in 45 districts currently in Kathmandu to attend the meeting called by Paudel have claimed that the party is not being run in accordance to the statute.
There is dispute inside the party after NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba unilaterally gave himself a one-year term extension and announced date for the next general convention.
Deuba, whose four-year term expires in March 2020, got his term extended through the central committee meeting on December 27 using the extension provision of the party statute. His term will now expire on March 3, 2021. The meeting also decided to hold the next general convention from February 19-22, 2021.
The meeting extended the term of Nepal Tarun Dal led by Jeet Jung Basnet by six months. It also increased the number of departments to 47 from 28 and suspended clause 14 related to party membership effective only until the general convention.
The major bone of contention is dispute in the party after the central committee suspended the clause that allowed active membership only a year after receiving general membership, and ruled that the central committee can grant active membership at any time it deems appropriate.
The factions of Paudel and Sitaula believe that the clause has been suspended to ensure that Deuba faction emerge victorious in the general convention as only active members can particiapte in party elections.
The factions of Paudel and Krishna Sitaula are seething after Deuba refused to implement the statute prepared by the Mahasamiti meeting a year back by suspending its clause on the basis of majority.
The district presidents have opposed suspension of the statute prepared by Mahasamiti.
The factions of Paudel and Krishna Sitaula have boycotted all meetings after Deuba presented proposals including increasing the number of party departments to 51 from 28, and completing Nepal Tarun Dal, Nepal Students Union among others to the central committee meeting for discussion on December 12.
Central members of the Paudel faction were holding a separate meeting at the residence of former general secretary Prakash Man Singh in Chaksibari when Deuba was taking decisions through the central committee meeting at the party office in Sanepa on December 27.