KATHMANDU, Sept 7: Nepali Congress (NC) candidate for party president Sushil Koirala is close to picking either Prakash Man Singh or Arjun Narsingh KC as his ´running mate´ who will contest the post of general secretary.
According to his close aides, Koirala made up his mind to pick either of the two candidates after he held a meeting with influential members of the Koirala family. He held a meeting with Dr Shekhar Koirala, Shashank Koirala and Sujata Koirala just before Sujata left for China on Wednesday.
Shekhar and Shashank had tried to persuade Sujata, daughter of the late Girija Prasad Koirala, not to contest the post of general secretary as there was no chance for her winning. However, Sujata appeared adamant in her decision to run for the post.
Sushil Koirala will meet again with Sujata before finally choosing either Singh or KC as ´running mate´ but there is no way he will give in to her demand for the post, according to party insiders.
Altogether five leaders including Singh, KC, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Sujata Koirala had expressed their intentions to run for the post of general secretary in the general convention slated for September 17-21.
Koirala lately came under fire from his own colleagues over his indecision in picking a candidate for general secretary even as his rival Sher Bahadur Deuba announced the candidacies in his panel and also expedited his election campaign.
Sources said Koirala made up his mind to pick either Singh or KC as running mate, keeping in mind the popularity they enjoy among party cadres.
Koirala feels that Singh has historical legacy in the party by virtue of his being a son of the late Ganesh Man Singh. Likewise, KC has considerable political clout, in Koirala´s reckoning.
Party insiders said Koirala decided not to choose Sitaula for contesting the post of general secretary in view of the ´anti-Maoist sentiment´ that reigns among NC cadres.
Sitaula faces the charge of being sympathetic towards the Maoists, especially as the NC faced a humiliating defeat in the Constituent Assembly (CA) election held in April, 2008. Sitaula was home minister at the time of the election.
Koirala likewise reckons that Dr Mahat does not command enough popularity among party cadres to win in the party elections.
With Sujata Koirala remaining adamant in her decision to run for general secretary, it is still unclear whether there will be two general secretary candidates from Sushil´s panel.“Should there be two candidates fighting for the post from Koirala´s panel it is highly likely both candidates will loose,” said a leader close to Koirala.
With the New Nepal slogan Nepali congress needs to act newly too. The General Secretary should be some one very experience and can negotiate accordingly. If we look bak actually among the two Arjun N KC more stands out as a leader with more qualities and can handle the post.
I think Sushil decision is crucial in shaping Nepali congress in 21 st century. I beileve Arjun N. Kc is more capable and dynamic. Due to his personlaity and touch with the NC cadres and he truly is peoples leader. Mr. Singh has more got his fathers pouplarity.
I believ sushil will make the right decision taht will make the party stomger but not defintely sujata koirala because that will defintely take the party downhill.
It must be a tough time for Sushil Koirala to choose between Prakash Man Singh and Arjun N. KC. Both are popular and capable candidates. The crux of the question is who can defeat the opponent and at the same time who can play a important role for Congress Unity. Congress cannot afford disunity within the party and at the same time it must lead the democratic alliance against the left hardliners.Personnaly I don´t know who is a better candidate between Prakash Man and Arjun N. KC but both