Oh boy! Koirala corners rivals into asking for favor
Staff Writer, KATHMANDU: Congress senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba could be in for huge shock at the end of the party general convention shortly given what transpired in a meeting between Sushil Koirala and Ram Chandra Paudel organized by Dr Shashank Koirala on Monday.
Early indications suggest Deuba, who has lost party election twice before it, could lose the election for Congress chairmanship following new equations emerging at the level of the third generation leaders.
Under this plan, Koirala — a master player— would even go to the extent of promising the position of acting party president to Paudel and offer him to head the next government as part of the leadership transition in the party if that can help him retain the party presidency.
Concurrently, seeing that Deuba too is trying to strike similar deal with Koirala at the expense of his close colleagues, Bimalendra Nidhi and Khum Bahadur Khadka — both of whom were behind Deuba — have met with Paudel in the middle of night to exhort him to contest election to ensure that Koirala is not elected unopposed.
Both appear to have smelt rat that Deuba is asking Koirala to let him head the next government in lieu of support for the party chairmanship at their expense and in active connivance with their rivals.
Both know Deuba very well inside out ever since he gained ignominy for Pajero culture and other scam while he was the prime minister later dismissed with an “incompetent” tag.
There is resentment against Deuba for not promoting Bimalendra Nidhi and Khum Bahadur Khadka for the top position while promoting interests of Arjun Narsingh KC—who demanded death for BP—- and Ram Sharan Mahat, who is running a roaring business with Lokman Singh Karki and Bharat Subedi by recommending them for general secretary and vice chairman of the party, respectively.
So much so, Chitralekha Yadav, a staunch Deuba supporter, has been overheard saying that Deuba was striking a bargain insisting on written commitment for support to get to head the next government from Koirala something which has stunned Deuba supporters.
Compare this with relatively comfortable position Koirala has found himself in the wake of the serious churning in the rival camp.
He is reported to be enjoying liberty is picking up office bearers of the party and is thus planning to have qualified people based on expediency for vice chairman and general secretary of the party, with at least two faces for joint general secretaries.
Since Prakash Man Singh has been reported to have told Koirala to do whatever is good to secure the party leadership, Koirala has plan to retain general secretary for him while vice chairmanship goes to Paudel while taking ethnic face for other position open.
Koirala is also mulling due space to those who walk out of Deuba camp and they include KC and Mahat as well as Chandra Bhandari.
However party grapevine has it that cross over of KC, Bhandari and Mahat has drawn the ire of Prakash Sharan Mahat who dubiously enjoys the distinction of procuring fresh vegetables for Arju Deuba whenever she runs out of them as a matter of privilege.
Meanwhile a player that he is Khadka, who was convicted on corruption charges and hence stands stigmatized, stands confused since he believes that Deuba cannot be depended upon given the options.
He is of the view that Deuba will be losing by over 500 votes if Paudel does not contest the elections for party chairmanship. His analysis is Deuba will lose by 300 votes even if Paudel fights against Koirala.
Hence given that Khadka knows that Koirala will indeed win the contest he is meanwhile trying to strike ties with him through Purna Bahadur Khadka.
What appears unfolding ahead in the interest of the Koirala family and continued supremacy of the Congress party is Paudel could get to head the new government, with Deuba getting to head the party as acting president, with Dr Shashank and Singh as general secretaries and Purna Bahadur Khadka as joint general secretary.
While Sujata Koirala could represent Madheshi and ethnic groups even as Khum Bahadur Khadka, Surendra Chaudhary, Amresh Singh and Chitra Lekha, among few others including Aftab Alam too get to mobilize masses in desired capacity.
In a new development that is music to Koirala’s ears even the national and international power centers have come to the analysis that the leadership of the party must go to him if Nepal is to overcome worst political crisis ever.