Neither Deuba nor Paudel my leader: Sitaula

Kathmandu, Dec 27

Nepali Congress (NC) leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula has said he does not consider either President Sher Bahadur Deuba or senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel his leaders.

“I never found Deuba and Paudel leaders. That perception still remains,” Sitaula addressed a press conference keeping leaders of his faction Gagan Thapa and Umakanta Chaudhary on his right and left sides respectively just four days after joining hands with Deuba and Paudel at the conclusion of recent mahasamiti meeting to send the message of unity.

He explained that he does not consider the two his leaders as they lack views, strategies and programs. “But I respect them as chairman and senior leader. We must respect the chair,” he added.

He also downplayed the recent display of unity by Deuba and Paudel pointing there should be unity on principles, policies, behaviors and practices. “Let there be no lust in the love of president and senior leader,” he took swipe at Deuba who said he is in deep love with Paudel and the latter who pointed he has strong attachment with the president during the mahasamiti meeting.

Sitaula, who runs a third faction in the party, clarified he has not joined the Paudel faction. “We had a lunch at Sujata Koirala’s house. Somebody posted a photo on Facebook. I replied yes when president asked if I am together with Paudel faction,” he elaborated. “I jokingly advised him to hold a meeting and post a photo of his faction on Facebook.”

He refused to answer if he will contest for any post in the upcoming general convention saying it will be too early to talk about that now. “Let us not hurry,” he replied when asked which position he will vie for.

He focused on two issues during the press conference that ran for around two hours. He demanded that the 14th general convention be held by May 2019. He added that leadership should be elected in the federal structure from the wards to central level as per the transitional provision of party statute if the general convention is not held early.

“The central working committee must prepare a working schedule to hold general convention within six months,” he demanded. “Or else we should elect committees from the grassroots to the top either through consensus or election using the transitional provision.”

The next general convention of NC has to be held in one and half years. President Deuba can extend his term by a year if he so wishes.

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