Provincial presidents of Nepali Congress (NC) have demanded they be officially allowed to participate in central committee meetings.
Uddhav Thapa is Province 1 president of NC, Krishna Yadav of Province 2, Indra Baniya Bagmati, Shukra Raj Sharma Gandaki, Amar Singh Pun Magar Lumbini, Lalit Jung Shahi Karnali and Bir Bahadur Balayar Far West.
NC invited the seven provincial chiefs to attend the central committee meeting held on Monday to pick candidates for National Assembly. The provincial presidents have now demanded that they be allowed to participate in regular central committee meetings just like district presidents are allowed to attend provincial committee meetings.
Speaking on behalf of provincial heads during Monday's meeting, Pun drew attention of NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba to make legal provision allowing them to attend regular central committee meetings.
The provincial chiefs are invited members only in the party's parliamentary committee that allots tickets to candidates. The parliamentary committee includes office-bearers and 11 members nominated by the party president.
"The party organization is under us. And it is not appropriate to not allow us in central committee meetings," Balayar said.
The provincial presidents also raised the issue of ranking and financial rights to collect levy from the cadres in their respective provinces.
They have demanded they be ranked higher than central members in the party hierarchy. "We have also come winning election. We are fewer than office-bearers. We should at least not have lower ranking than central members," Balayar argued.
He stated that there can be tussle in the party if the issue of ranking is not resolved.
Pun claimed that Deuba is positive about the demands. "I put our position in the central committee. President said it is right after I spoke. We are confident that there will be legal provision allowing provincial presidents in central committee meetings," Pun stated.
Joint General Secretary Farmullah Mansur said provincial presidents will be invited when needed. "They will be invited in the parliamentary committee at the time of giving tickets. There is no provision in the statute to invite at other times," Mansur pointed. "The statute should either be amended. Or else they will be invited on the basis of necessity as in the time of giving tickets for provinces."