UML leaders and cadres awaiting for the closed session of the 10th general convention to start, in Chitwan, Sunday.
CHITWAN: Intense efforts are underway in the ongoing CPN (UML) 10th National Congress to elect a new leadership on the basis of consensus. The closed session of the Congress scheduled for 10:00 am at Sauraha is likely to start at 7 pm.
Until the filing of this report, party Chair KP Oli was busy in unofficial talks with party leaders in a hotel where he is residing in his bid to find a consensus-based new leadership.
It is learnt aspiring candidates for the central committee office-bearers and members are lobbying the party chair and top leaders close to them not to miss out their names from a list of the ‘proposed’ new leadership instead of reaching among the convention representatives for the votes. But, it is said leader Oli has been sending them back without any responses and assurances.
Chair Oli is officially assigned to take the responsibility of the nomination of consensus-based leadership and he, as the center of hope from aspiring candidates, is under a huge pressure to sail through his responsibilities.
Hotel Park Safari where the party chair is staying has been occupied by party leaders and cadres. They are seen moving to and fro around the hotel. This morning, following a meeting with representatives of the foreign political parties, Chair Oli had summoned the party leaders for consultations.
Party Vice Chair Astalaxmi Shakya, general secretary Ishwor Pokhrel, deputy-general secretary Bishnu Prasad Poudel, standing committee member Surendra Pandey and Shankar Pokhrel were among those summoned to the meeting. It is said, Pokhrel and Poudel had met the chair separately. Meetings are going on in those hotels where party leaders are staying.
The closed session on Saturday had given the responsibility of presenting the names of candidates for the 301-member central committee to party Chair Oli after majority of the leaders and representatives in the National Congress exerted pressure for unanimously electing the new central committee under the leadership of Oli. Efforts at reaching consensus with Vice Chair Dr Bhim Rawal, who took stance that the leadership should be elected through election and not through consensus, are undergoing as Rawal is meeting Chair Oli this evening.
Formerly disgruntled leader Rawal had said he would file his candidature for the post of party chair.
UML secretary Yogesh Bhattarai said the 10th National Congress is taking place in a distinct situation and way. He said it is the job of the leadership to manage and evaluate the hopefuls as the National Congress has already agreed to elect the leadership on consensus.
“The leadership will bring a logical proposal after taking into account the party workers’ aspirations, and party Chair Oli should accommodate the aspirants including vice-chair Rawal through dialogue. The other leaders too should cooperate with the party Chair,” Bhattarai said.
Stating that they have given suggestions to Oli along this line, leader Bhattarai said they could reach a conclusion through dialogue, consultations and discussions as per the People’s Multi-party Democracy principle. He added that consensus would be reached as per aspiration of all the representatives. Bhattarai indicated that the election procedure would also be an option if consensus cannot be forged at the last hour.
Outside the closed session venue, the party representatives and cadres are keenly waiting for the UML new leadership. Those representatives aspiring to contest the election too say that they would be satisfied if the new leadership is elected on consensus even if they are not included.
Central member Devi Gyawali said that he would welcome the new leadership elected through consensus. All Nepal Women Association leader Sharmila Karki said the entire representatives have given the mandate for consensus from the hall. She said vice-chair Rawal and other leaders should not pick up issues taking this into consideration.
Former lawmaker and UML leader Ranju Jha stressed that all should accept the aspirations of the entire representatives, expressing the hope the leadership will bring a rational proposal to this end.
Youth leader Rachana Khadka is also in agreement with Jha. She expressed the confidence that the leadership will bring the proposal with a rational mind and the representatives were eagerly waiting for it. (With inputs from agencies)