Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Convention notes

The stage, the balcony, the entire venue was packed with representatives to the general convention [of the Nepali Congress] and leaders. Extra chairs were brought in for the press. Loudspeakers were set up outside the hall for party workers who couldn't get a seat. In his address Bijaya Kumar Gacchedar proposed that the reign of the Koirala family should end, that the president should resign and that Ram Chandra Poudel should take his place. When another speaker, Pradip Giri, said that Govinda Raj Joshi, Koirala's slave, should also be made president, the hall applauded in support.

When Prime Minster Deuba arrived, party workers outside the venue welcomed him shouting slogans: Long Live the Nepali Congress, Take back the action against the prime minister. Inside the venue, too, Deuba was welcomed with loud cheers. Applause rang out when at the end of his address Deuba said he was in favour of party unity but that there was not enough time to wait, and when Home Minister Khum Bahadur Khadka said that the tree would remain their election and party symbol. Senior Congress members Bhu Bikram Nembang, Prem Raj Angdembe, Badri Ram Bhandari, Chandralal Shrestha, Bishnu Bhakta Bhuju were also present.

Excerpts from Satyagraha, 17 June

Hundreds of government motorcycles were lined up outside the venue of the general convention [of the Nepali Congress] venue. Rumours circulated said there were 900 representatives there, but in fact not more than 250 representatives attended. Party workers from the districts could be seen gearing up to have a good time at a hotel on the tab of Deuba and Gacchedar.

Deuba had a written speech in case he made a slip. Those close to Deuba said that his speech had been drafted by Pradip Giri. Many representatives could be seen tearing off their badges and hiding them in their pockets, as they didn't want to remain at the gathering. When a journalist close to Deuba, who also happens to be press advisor to the Nepal Rastra Bank, came out to say that Khum Bahadur Khadka would be the future president of the party, it was interesting to see listeners bite their tongues in disbelief and turn red with shame.

A majority of party representatives at the convention were heard saying that they would not relinquish the tree symbol and the four-star flag if Deuba split the party. The party workers were trying to figure out why Deuba and Khum Bahadur Khadka were arm-in-arm with DB Lama, Sharad Singh Bhandari, and Gopal Jijung Shah. There was a notable presence of the UML, the RPP and the Maoists at the convention.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)