HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi today proposed senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba’s name as the party’s prime ministerial’s candidate should there be a consensus government.
“The Congress,” he said, “one year ago, had decided that Deuba would be the candidate for a consensus government and Ram Chandra Paudel would be the candidate for a majority government. I think, the decision is still relevant even now as there has been no other decision regarding the matter,” he told reporters during an interaction session in the Capital.
He, however, said that it was a matter of consensus among the top three leaders of the Congress.
The Congress, he made it clear, would announce the candidate for prime minister only after President Dr Ram Baran Yadav called on the parties for consensus government.
On the new constitution, Nidhi said that it should be promulgated from the Constituent Assembly itself. “If we opted for any other ways than the CA, which was the preference of the people for the last 60 years, the new constitution could not be sustainable,” Nidhi told reporters during an interaction session in the Capital.
There are only two alternatives – either to revive the CA for a short period after forging consensus on the disputed issues of the new constitution or to go for fresh CA polls.
Although, the establishment side of the Congress has been lobbying for fresh polls for Parliament, which can also function as CA, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba-led faction has been stressing for CA revival.
Stating that amending the Interim Constitution by using the President’s right to remove the difficulties is not the proper way, Nidhi said, adding that, the CA revival was imperative even for making the fresh polls legal and legitimate.
The Congress leader rejected the idea of going for parliamentary polls and said, “A new constitution should be promulgated first even before the parliament polls as it needs to mention about the structure and size of the parliament in the new statute.”
Stating that the Congress’ Sindhupalchok conclave suggested the Congress for fresh polls, he said, “As all other parties, the Congress is also divided on whether the polls should be held for CA or parliament. The Barahbishe conclave was also divided on this.”
Nidhi opined that the fresh CA could be downsized to 311-member CA as the parties already agreed for the 311-member House of Representatives at the centre.
He said that the Congress should be ready for a package deal on the issues of process of promulgating the new constitution and formation of a national consensus government.
Nidhi expressed discontent with party President Sushil Koirala’s way of forming the party’s 42 departments unilaterally without consulting Deuba side.