Khadka and Gurung elected Congress vice presidents

Khadka and Gurung elected Congress vice presidents

Purna Bahadur Khadka and Dhanraj Gurung have been elected vice presidents of the Nepali Congress.

Khadka represents the panel led by Sher Bahadur Deuba, who has reclaimed the party president position, while Gurung is from Shekhar Koirala panel.

Both Khadka and Gurung are the first elected vice presidents in the history of Nepali Congress.

Khadka secured 2,121 votes and Gurung secured 1,908 votes, according to the Central Election Committee of the party.

A total of 4,679 votes were cast in the election held on Monday.

There were seven leaders vying for two vice president posts.

Mahesh Acharya, Sujata Koirala, Chandra Bhandari, Dhanraj Gurung and Divyashwori Shah were other candidates.

While Acharya was running as an independent candidate, without any panel, Sujata Koirala was contesting from the Prakash Man Singh panel. Singh lost the party president race. Bhandari was yet another candidate from the Shekhar Koirala panel. Shah was running for the party vice president position from the Bimalendra Nidhi camp.

Koirala lost to Deuba in the party president runoff.

After Deuba, Koirala, Nidhi and Singh failed to secure more than 50 percent votes in the first round of voting to elect the party president, the first two went into a runoff.

Nidhi and Singh rallied behind Deuba to install him as the party president for the next four years.

The victory of Khadka and Gurung as party vice presidents signals a mixed party structure as results for the two party general secretary posts, eight general secretary posts and 121 Central Working Committee are due.

In the Congress, the general secretary is considered the second most powerful office bearer after the party president.

Gagan Thapa, Minendra Rijal, Pradip Paudel, Prakash Sharan Mahat, Bishwa Prakash Sharma and Rajaram Karki are in the race for the two general secretary posts.

Thapa and Rijal represent the Shekhar Koirala camp and Paduel and Mahat are from the Deuba camp.

Sharma decided to run from Singh’s camp after Deuba decided to field Paudel and Mahat for the post.

The Nepali Congress is holding its 14th general convention to elect a new leadership comprising the party president, two vice presidents, two general secretaries, eight joint general secretaries and 121 Central Working Committee members.

The grand old party’s convention—and the new leadership it will elect—is being followed closely. How the party elects its office bearers holds significance for national politics as well.

Khadka, a close ally of Deuba for many years, is a former home minister. He was elected a Central Working Committee member under the open category. The committee later picked him as general secretary under Deuba’s recommendation.

Gurung, a Central Working Committee member of the party, is a former president of Nepal Student Union, the student wing of the Nepali Congress.

He also served as a member of the Constituent Assembly.

Gurung managed to snatch the post with just two votes from Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, who was contesting from the Deuba panel. Gachhadar secured 1,906 votes.

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