NC grapples with impasse in selecting by-election candidate

Party holding Central Work Execution Committee meeting to address the impasse


April 3, 2024


NC grapples with impasse in selecting by-election candidate

Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba (L) and NC leader Dr. Shekhar Koirala.

KATHMANDU: The Nepali Congress (NC) on Tuesday faced a setback in selecting candidates for the upcoming by-elections as disputes among top leaders persist.

The party is holding a meeting of its Central Work Execution Committee even today to address the impasse.

The main opposition party, NC, failed to finalize candidates for the April 27 by-elections in Ilam-2 and Bajhang-1 after a four-hour discussion at NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s residence, Budhanilkantha, on Tuesday.

In particular, the disagreement revolved around the Ilam-2 candidacy.

While NC President Deuba and Vice President Purna Bahadur Khadka advocated for Dambar Khadka, who was defeated in 2079 BS parliamentary election, other leaders including Dr. Shekhar Koirala, Gagan Thapa, Bishwa Prakash Sharma, and Dr. Shashank Koirala supported Bheshraj Acharya.

The meeting was adjourned until 4 pm Wednesday as both factions remained steadfast in their support for Khadka and Acharya, respectively.

Party spokesperson Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat stated that the candidate would be decided in today’s meeting.

Dr. Shekhar Koirala’s departure from Tuesday’s meeting underscored the controversy within the Nepali Congress regarding candidate selection.

He has been voicing his discontent, emphasizing the importance of considering the local committee’s recommendation, particularly favoring Bhesharaj.

However, disagreements persisted as Deuba continued to support Khadka.

Dr. Shekhar Koirala also objected to the Bajhang State Assembly election, criticizing the decision to grant tickets to the candidate who secured the third vote in local-level elections.

Dr. Shashank Koirala echoed Dr. Shekhar’s sentiments, urging Deuba to reconsider and provide the ticket to Bheshraj.