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NC’s Mahasamiti meeting poised to shape and refine policies

Gyanu Ghimire

December 7, 2023

8 MIN READ

NC’s Mahasamiti meeting poised to shape and refine policies

Nepali Congress leaders from L: Gagan Thapa, Bishwa Prakash Sharma, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba, and Dr. Shekhar Koirala.

KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress (NC) leaders are gearing up for the upcoming Mahasamiti meeting, which is set to take place from January 1-4, 2024 at Godavari Hall in Lalitpur.

In a notable shift, party leaders have claimed that this gathering will serve as a ‘policy convention,’ emphasizing a strategic focus on shaping and refining the party’s policies.

NC Central Office Chief Secretary Krishna Prasad Paudel affirmed, “There will be no changes as rumored. This time we are proceeding with all the necessary preparations, and a hall has been booked in Godavari for the meeting.”

Previously scheduled for December 9 to 11, the meeting underwent a rescheduling, citing various reasons and, notably, a need for better preparation.

According to Chief Secretary Paudel, the Mahasamiti meeting will encompass all the agenda items typically addressed in a separate policy session.

“This approach aligns with a legal provision allowing the discussion of various party policies within the framework of the Mahasamiti,” he said.

NC General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma expressed the party’s serious commitment to the upcoming meeting, stating, “We are engaged in state and district sessions, making comprehensive preparations in every aspect. Our colleagues are diligently occupied.”

She further emphasized, “We are advocating for one-third of office-bearers to be women, with concrete steps to establish this norm. The agenda also includes discussions on proportional participation, and I am committed to consulting with women central members and other stakeholders on this matter.”

Similarly, NC central member, Pradeep Paudel stated that the Mahasamiti meeting would assess the situation of Nepali youths abroad and delve into discussions about potential adjustments to foreign policy.

NC central member Dr. Minendra Rizal, meanwhile, acknowledged the ongoing preparations for the Mahasamiti meeting, stating, “I have heard about the groundwork being laid for the same. My associates are actively working on this, and I’m not directly involved.”

Asserting that the Mahasamiti meeting would play a pivotal role in shaping the party’s policies and leadership, Congress leaders anticipate a robust and pragmatic discussion.

General Secretary Sharma emphasized the need for what he said a “serious dialogue” within the Mahasamiti meeting, particularly focusing on the party’s policy decisions.

Call for Statute Amendments to Echoes in Mahasamiti

Meanwhile, party insiders say some central members are likely to advocate for amendments to certain aspects of the party statute, emphasizing the potential for this meeting to instill hope and effect positive change.

Joint General Secretary Mahalakshmi Dina Upadhyaya asserted that representatives from diverse genders and communities should be inclusively incorporated in specific roles, guided by the principles of value and recognition of inclusion.

Talkin to Khabarhub, she said, “Our focus extends to both the theoretical and practical dimensions of the Nepali Congress. We will delve into discussions about the party’s structure at various levels, addressing existing challenges.”

She further emphasized, “We are advocating for one-third of office-bearers to be women, with concrete steps to establish this norm. The agenda also includes discussions on proportional participation, and I am committed to consulting with women central members and other stakeholders on this matter.”

Likewise, Joint General Secretary Bhishmaraj Angdambe echoed Upadhyay’s sentiments, affirming that the Mahasamiti meeting will engage in a serious discourse on the topic of inclusion.

He stated, “The party President has recognized the gravity of this matter, and it will be accorded due attention.”

Relevance of the Mahasamiti Meeting

The 14th General Convention of the Nepali Congress, held in December 2021, primarily focused on selecting leadership without delving into the party’s policy discussions.

During this convention, the Congress enacted a law and elected 134 central members, with Sher Bahadur Deuba assuming the role of party President.

The Central Working Committee comprises 168 members, with a provision in the statute allowing the nomination of 33 central members based on inclusive principles.

However, to date, only 31 members have been nominated, prompting the current demand for legislative amendments to address this discrepancy.

Leader Upadhyay stated that the upcoming Mahasamiti meeting will delve into detailed discussions on policies and principles.

This emphasis on substantive deliberations aligns with the recommendation put forth during the Central Committee meeting held in Asoj, according to Upadhyaya.

“The suggestion came from the meeting of the Central Working Committee held in Asoj,” she told Khabarhub.

In preparation for this crucial meeting, the Nepali Congress has formed a proposal preparation committee, led by Deputy President Purna Bahadur Khadka.

This committee is tasked with formulating a comprehensive policy proposal to present during the Mahasamiti meeting.

Central leader Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat plays a crucial role as a key member of this committee.

Chief Secretary Paudel informed that Mahasamiti elections have already taken place in 145 out of 165 constituencies, paving the way for participation in the imminent general committee meeting.

He said, “All necessary preparations are underway, orchestrated by the Central Committee and our dedicated colleagues.”

The upcoming meeting also anticipates the submission of an organizational report by General Secretary Gagan Thapa.

Leaders contend that the democratic nature of the Congress involves extensive debates and discussions before arriving at decisions, making it inevitable for various ideas to be presented.

Additionally, another General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma is reportedly gearing up to present a political proposal.

A total of 1,815 general committee members, selected at a rate of 11 individuals from each of the 165 constituencies, are expected to participate.

Upadhyaya confirmed that representation from fraternal and well-wishing organizations will also be present.

The party’s commitment to inclusivity extends globally, with provisions for representation from public relations committees located abroad.

As per information from the Congress headquarters, the Mahasamiti meeting is set to host a maximum of 2,400 representatives, including central officials and members.

NC leaders dismiss influence of factions and sub-factions

Several factions and sub-factions have emerged, a phenomenon acknowledged by party leaders within the Nepali Congress.

Leaders contend that the democratic nature of the Congress involves extensive debates and discussions before arriving at decisions, making it inevitable for various ideas to be presented.

Secretary Paudel emphasized that, following the emergence of multiple agendas, it is imperative for everyone to acknowledge and accept the issues deliberated and approved by the Central Committee.

He also downplayed the significance of focusing solely on generational shifts and transformations in politics, asserting that clarity in experience, behavior, and working style should be the primary considerations.

Paudel suggested that these factors carry more weight in shaping political dynamics than the existence of factions and sub-factions within the party.

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