Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Decision-making, Congress style

In a meeting to decide who should be nominated to the Upper House, Koirala said that he had given his word to two people, and those present at the meeting could decide about the others. People were surprised and had no clue who these two were. They were Ashok Koirala and Bal Bahadur Rai. After this, Deuba said that he also had two nominees who had to be elected. His nominees were Bal Dev Bohora and Akkal Bahadur Bista. Then Bhattarai got into the act and said that even he had given his word to two people, Maiya Devi Shrestha and Dr Narayan Khadka. He told the meeting that these two people had given their lives to the party and that they were very deserving. Other members then put forward their nominees. Khum Bahadur Khadka fought vigorously for Tirtha Raj Gyawali, some one put forward the name of Ram Jivan Singh. Since there were no lawyers, Radhe Shyam Adhikary and Mukund Regmi were also suggested. Koirala immediately supported the candidature of Adhikary. One member raised objections and said that as far as appointing a lawyer went, Adhikary was acceptable, but that he had until recently publicly stated that the Lauda Air lease was improper and that the prime minister should be held accountable and should resign. The prime minister responded: "Who has not accused me? Even Bhattarai and Deuba have said all they could. So forget about that objection." Deuba was surprised, but replied in a jolly manner: "All I did was ask for the prime minister's resignation. Bhattarai is the one who left nothing unsaid. I did not say anything much." Dr Ram Sharan Mahat also supported Adhikary-in fact, everyone did. Deuba was asked to choose one of the two names he had proposed. He agreed to Bista. Although he had committed himself to about two dozen people, Sushil Koirala kept quiet during the meeting. He did not support or oppose anyone. Laxman Ghimire put forward the names of Pursottam Basnet, Birendra Dahal, Basu Koirala, Chandra Singh Bhattarai and many others. Ram Chandra Poudel stated that Ram Chandra Pokhrel too was an ideal candidate. Maiya Devi was accepted by all, but Dr Khadka did not get through. In the end Bhattarai proposed that Bista should step down for Khadka. He tried to convince Deuba, who suddenly exploded: "Why are you never just to the far west? Just because you are ineffective in other regions, you try and bully the far west. There is no way I will be party to this. Why are you always unfair to me?" In the end it was agreed that both Koirala's nominees would get through, one each of Bhattarai's and Deuba's, one from the intellectuals, Ram Jivan Singh from the list of political sufferers and Major Deepak Gurung from the list of retired army people.

Although people tried to raise objections about the candidature of Shrestha and Rai, Prime Minister Koirala brushed them aside.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)