KB could be reinforcement material
STAFF WRITER, KATHMANDU: The sudden demise of Sushil Koirala has jolted the party mainstream in ways that demands equally impeccable reinforcement if the outfit expects to uphold its very identity in tune with history.
Congress party is certainly at the crossroads at a point of time when the nation is struggling to literally consummate the new constitution after a herculean courage demonstrated by the deceased leader in wangling it amid tremendous pressure.
With true blue soldier now nowhere around, a meaningful tribute to Sushil Da as he was known to his followers would be having an equally iconic replacement who can instill confidence and vitality into the organization passed on by B P, a pre-eminent nationalist icon of all time.
That Sushil Da was overly worried about the future credential of the party has come out with Koirala insiders going on the record about it even as contenders like Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel have long announced their hurried presence to take over.
He of course had his own analysis of what was going on around him and that perhaps was the reason he did not want to absolve himself of the historic role he still needs to play rather than move into Shital Niwas as a ceremonial president.
Sushil Da was looking to buy time at any cost and effect a leadership transition in ways which imparts every element of what the party core was composed of. But he ran short of time with events unfolding in ways not imagined.
But providentially enough, Congress core has figures who not only can step into his shoes and walk like him too but also conduct business like him and thus lead the party in ways not at all removed from the ways Sushil Da did or his predecessors did.
Leadership rises through the call of emergency and not at leisure. The one who has all the ingredients and commands respect is always waiting in the wings to step in when the time comes to take the call. That person could be Kul Bahadur Gurung. Someone who hails from ethnic community has never owed that as agenda while Koiralas never saw him as a member of the ethnic group but someone who can command attention.
Someone who has been very close with B P by dint of being his treasurer long back and general secretary when Girija Prasad Koirala was the party president, Kul Bahadur fits the bill and going by his profile no one can contest him.
He is known for keeping distance from mad stampede demonstrated by those who feel Congress party must come out of the Koirala family whatever may be the objective. But a guarded secret is Congress coming out of Koirala family is not indicative of intra-party democracy but dilution of its core principles including but not restricted to upholding nationalist credentials.
The party is stunned but those who have been near to the party core are appearing to wake up to the call of time in what signals at dramatic turn of events and rearguard action to propel Kul Bahadur as a successor to Sushil Da. The latter used to look at the former as father figure, a reason why he wanted to see him as the president but forces worked to thwart the same.
That done Congress will have risen from the ashes after the demise of Sushil Da and will have send reassuring message to party workers that Congress is far from degenerating into a vehicle to achieve personal milestone. With Kul Bahadur at the helm, the party will have a clean face at the top and not like Paudel and Deuba both of whom played dubious role when they pushed through controversial Mahakali treaty working well into midnight.