Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has postponed the party’s central committee meeting, yet again.
Thursday’s move comes three days before the scheduled date for the meet.
At a time of deepening dissatisfaction within the party over the leadership’s style of functioning in contravention of the party statute, this move is sure to rile the rival camp further.
Deuba had postponed meets scheduled for Jan 6 and 12 also.
The party president does not want to hold the CC meet for a number of reasons. Firstly, Deuba fears he will come under criticism for failing to give continuity to the pre-poll ruling alliance.
Before the 20 Nov elections, Deuba had thrown his weight behind the alliance, taking action against leaders and cadres opposing his scheme, without bothering to take the whole party into confidence.
But the pre-poll ruling alliance fell like a house of cards for want of understanding between Deuba and CPN (Maoist Center) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal on the issue of premiership.
Initially, the largest party in the parliament (88 seats) had wanted to lead the government. This pushed Dahal to the CPN-UML camp. With support from UML and some other fringe parties, a coalition government took shape under Dahal.
Though consigned to the opposition bench, the NC was forced to vote for the government in a trust vote in the parliament. Subsequently, the party has lost important positions like the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
All this has many CC members miffed. Deuba does not want to face their ire, with a vote for President round the bend. A CC meet will give rivals an opportunity to target Deuba, alienating Dahal further and causing more setbacks for NC.
This leaves Deuba with little choice.