Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel de-escalated the recent acrimony during the office-bearers' meeting at the former's residence in Budhanilkantha on Thursday.
Paudel has recently handed over a letter to Deuba accusing him of trying to influence the next general convention by interfering in distribution and renewal of active membership, by forming party departments after announcement of general convention violating the code of conduct, and slammed his unilateral announcement to make Sunil Thapa, who joined the party quitting RPP, joint general secretary.
Holding a joint press conference Paudel and General Secretary Shashank Koirala had accused Deuba of running the party unilaterally and rued the lack of democracy inside the party.
"The growing distance between the president and the senior leader has been resolved to some extent after today's meeting," a leader close to Deuba, who attended the meeting, told Setopati. "Senior leader asked the president to act in accordance to the statute, while Deuba pointed that he is working as per the statute. The two leaders tried to reduce the acrimony."
The meeting decided to take the agenda of forming a committee to investigate active membership to the next central committee meeting. "President Deuba urged Paudel to provide the name of leaders he wants in the investigation committee," Joint General Secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat said.
Paudel in response reiterated his grievance about Deuba making appointments in party committees and departments even after announcement of the next general convention. "Deuba then replied that he wants to form committees and departments in consensus and pointed that Paudel has not provided names despite repeatedly being asked to do so. He pointed that there is still time and urged Paudel to provide the names," Mahat added.
Deuba has already appointed chiefs of 20 of the 47 party departments and recently nominated 479 cadres and leaders of different districts above 65 years to the senior politician assembly led by him. Paudel then handed over a letter to Deuba accusing him of trying to influence the general convention.
The leaders also agreed to take the agenda of increasing the number of active members across the country by up to 100 percent to the central committee meeting.
The party has decided to hold the 14th general convention from February 19-22, 2021 in Kathmandu but the schedule for election at the party's lower levels has been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distribution and renewal of active membership is going on in many districts now. The lower levels of the party will have to send the list of active members to the center where any dispute about active membership is settled.
Election at the lower levels can only be started once the list of active members is finalized. The party had around 380,000 active members in the last general convention.
The election at the local level of the party will start from December 21.