14 districts yet to submit party membership forms

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KATHMANDU, APR 17 – Despite repeated calls from Sanepa, 14 district chapters of the Nepali Congress are yet to submit “active membership” forms to the party headquarters.

NC leaders said a factional divide down to the grassroots was to blame for the delay. With the party’s general convention slated for September, membership distribution is in full swing in the districts.

The delay in form submission has affected preparations for holding the village-, regional and district-level conventions of the party. The party will be electing its new leadership from the 13th General Convention in September. As per the party decisions, those districts should have submitted the forms by mid-March.

Camps led by party President and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba are competing to distribute party membership to local cadres loyal to them. This matters as Active Members elect representatives for the party’s general convention that elects the party president and the central leadership.

Although the factions trade charges, leaders said both the sides have committed fraud while distributing active membership in their strongholds. The disputed districts are Rautahat, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari, Dolakha, Nuwakot, Bhaktapur, Parsa, Kaski, Rupandehi, Nawalparasi and Baglung.

According to Central Working Committee (CWC) member Ram Krishna Yadav, they have issued an order to submit the forms within four days. The party would take strong measures if the districts fail to act on time.

Some of the districts which have already submitted the forms are also not free of controversies. The party, on February 25, had formed a panel to investigate the complaints regarding membership lodged at the headquarters. The panel led by central member Narahari Acharya is looking into them.

The party has frequently extended deadlines but the details have yet to be collected. Leaders said problems were created after the party leadership failed to accomplish the tasks as per the NC statute. Tasks related to membership should have been completed by July but Koirala reportedly did not take initiatives to call a meeting of the CWC.