Party leaders are divided on almost every issue, especially after PM KP Oli’s second House dissolution. This is why the general convention has become a necessity to settle the issues of party leadership, ideology and organization.
ApEx’s Pratik Ghimire talked to party spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma.
Where do new generation leaders find themselves ahead of the general convention?
More new generation leaders are getting elected as representatives in successive general conventions. This time, as we have doubled the number of representatives attending the convention, we will see more youths take up decision-making positions. In addition, the proportion of youths is also significantly higher in the overall active membership of the party.
Going into the 14th general convention, what is the guiding ideology of Nepali Congress?
We believe the vision Nepali Congress carries has a huge impact on overall Nepali politics. Congress follows the path of D&D: Democracy and Development. This time too, the new leadership will remain committed to democracy, federalism, inclusive participation, and liberal economy with gradual development of every sector. We will create a suitable environment for coordination between the state and the corporate and private sectors.
How will you tackle the issue of Hindu state that seems to have at least some backing inside Nepali Congress?
Our constitution is a result of hard work and dedication of many people. Yet certain provisions in it might not be to everyone’s taste. The constitutional provisions can be worked upon to reflect public will. But, right now, we have not even completed a decade under the new constitution. So instead of trying to make substantive changes to it, we should rather think of its implementation. Nepali Congress is thus committed to implementing the constitution in its letter and spirit.
There seem to be many contenders for party leadership. How will you settle it?
I have also heard people say Nepali Congress doesn’t have a consensus candidate for party president. But we are in a democracy and the beauty of democracy is that there is competition. More the number of contenders for the post, the better it will be for democracy. We will pick the best candidate to run the party.
How do you evaluate the judiciary’s current involvement in national politics?
Let me explain with an example. If a person is healthy, he won’t visit the doctor often. But if they fall sick regularly, they have to visit the doctor time and again. We can’t say the doctor is interfering with their health. Similarly, if our politics doesn’t follow the legal path, the Supreme Court will ask the government to correct its course. It is a part of the principle of check and balance.
Also, we can imagine the situation had the elections been held in May, as had been originally planned. We could have seen over 1,000 Covid-19-related deaths a day during election campaigns and, of course, the election would have had to be canceled, forcing the country into more political turmoil.