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|Headquarters||B.P. Smriti Bhawan, B.P. Nagar, Lalitpur|
|Student wing||Nepal Student Union|
|Youth wing||Nepal Tarun Dal|
|Labour wing||Nepal Trade Union Congress-Independent|
Democratic socialism,[third-party source needed]
Third Way
|International affiliation||Socialist International|
|Politics of Nepal
The Nepali Congress (abbreviated NC, and commonly known as the Congress) is a Nepalese political party. Nepali Congress led the 1950 Democratic Movement which successfully ended the Rana dynasty and allowed commoners to take part in the politics. It again led a democratic movement in 1990, in partnership with leftist forces, to end absolute monarchy and reinstate parliamentary democracy. With the 12-point agreement of November 22, 2005 it worked together with the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist to end King Gyanendra's takeover of the government. The ensuing 2006 movement successfully reinstated the parliament and led to the formation of the Federal Republic of Nepal. After the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, Nepali Congress became the second largest party in the country in terms of the number of seats in the CA.
The 12th general convention of the Nepali Congress was held in Kathmandu from September 17–21, 2010. The convention elected Sushil Koirala as the party president. This was the first general convention of the party after the unification of Nepali Congress (Democratic) and Nepali Congress on September 25, 2007.
Sushil Koirala became the caretaker President after the demise of Girija Prasad Koirala. However, the dispute over seniority between Deuba and Koirala persisted.
Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, just before the convention, announced himself no longer a member of the Nepali Congress and refused to take part in the current general convention claiming the party had adopted "fake republicanism".
The Nepali Congress is a reform-oriented centrist party and has been in continuous operation since it was founded as the Nepali National Congress in 1947. In the first democratic election of Nepal, Nepali Congress Party secured an overwhelming majority to form the government. Following the royal coup by King Mahendra in 1960, many leaders of party, including Prime Minister B.P. Koirala and General Secretary Hora Prasad Joshi, were imprisoned. Thus, many other party leaders sought sanctuary in exile in India to set up operations against the new system.
Although political parties were prohibited from 1960 to 1989 and continued to be outlawed during the panchayat system under the aegis of the Associations and Organizations (Control) Act of 1963, the Nepali Congress Party persisted. The party placed great emphasis on eliminating the feudal economy and building a basis for socioeconomic development. It proposed nationalizing basic industries and instituting progressive taxes on land, urban housing, salaries, profits and foreign investments. While in exile, the Nepali Congress Party served as the nucleus around which other opposition groups clustered and even instigated popular uprisings in the Hill and Terai regions. During this time, the Nepali Congress refused the overtures of a radical faction of the Communist Party of Nepal for a tactical alliance.
Although the Nepali Congress demonstrated its ability to endure, it was weakened over time by defection, factionalism, and external pressures. Nevertheless, it continued to be the only organized party to press for democratization. In the 1980s referendum, it supported the multiparty option in opposition to the panchayat system. In 1981 the party boycotted the Rashtriya Panchayat elections and rejected the new government. The death in 1982 of B.P. Koirala, who had consistently advocated constitutional reforms and a broad-based policy of national reconciliation, further weakened the party.
In the 1980s, the Nepali Congress abandoned its socialistic economic program in favor of a mixed economy, and a market economy in certain sectors. Its foreign policy orientation was to nonalignment and good relations with India. Although the party also boycotted the 1986 elections to the Rashtriya Panchayat, its members were allowed to run in the 1987 local elections. In defiance of the ban on demonstrations, the Nepali Congress organized mass rallies together with the different communist factions in January 1990 that ultimately triggered the prodemocracy movement.
Following the defeat of party leader K.P. Bhattarai by the communist factions in the 1991 parliamentary election, Girija Prasad (G.P.) Koirala was chosen by the Nepali Congress Party as leader of its Parliamentary Board. As Prime Minister, he formed the first elected democratic government in Nepal in thirty-two years. G. P. Koirala was the third of the Koirala brothers to become Prime Minister. Along with his elder brother, B.P. Koirala, he was arrested in 1960 and was not released until 1967. After a period of exile that began in 1971, he returned to Nepal in 1979 under a general amnesty. He was elected general secretary of the party in 1976 in a convention at Patna and played a key role in the prodemocracy movement. G.P. Koirala was known for favoring reconciliation with the left, but he also wanted to pursue national unity and Western-style democracy.
In the late 1990s a severe factional conflict emerged in the party. It led to the formation of the splinter Nepali Congress (Democratic).
On 24 September 2007, Nepali Congress (Democratic) and Nepali Congress unified as a single party. The name of the party remained Nepali Congress, and Tree remained the election symbol of the unified party. In the unified party, Girija Prasad Koirala, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Sher Bahadur Deuba remained senior most leaders. Koirala remained president of the party.
The party placed second—with 110 out of 575 elected seats—in the April 2008 Constituent Assembly election, winning only half as many seats as the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist); this was generally considered a surprising outcome. Following the election, the party held extended discussions on power-sharing with the Maoists and proposed that Koirala become the first President of Nepal, but ultimately the Nepali Congress decided to go into opposition and Koirala resigned in late June 2008, clearing the way for the Maoists to form a government.
March 13, 1947 : Launched a massive countrywide anti-Rana demonstration. Started labour movement and strike in Jute Mill in Biratnagar which was led by Late Girija Prasad Koirala, the ex-Prime Minister and the ex-Party President.
April 9, 1950 : Formation of Nepali Congress through the merger of Nepali National Congress (established on January 25, 1947) and Nepal Democratic Congress (established on August 4, 1948) at Calcutta, India and call for an armed struggle against the Rana regime. Matrika Prasad Koirala became the President
September 26–27, 1950 : Adoption of the strategy of the armed revolution to overthrow the Rana regime at Bairgania Conference.
November 6, 1950 : Beginning of the armed revolution which was supported by King Tribhuvan who went into exile. Some Indian socialists fought as comrades-in-arms and Burmese socialists supported with the arms and ammunitions.
November 11, 1950 : Armed Struggle started, with the attack in Birgunj.
February 18, 1951 : Fall of Rana regime, formation of Rana-Nepali Congress coalition government on parity basis with Rana Mohan Shumshere as Prime Minister. B.P. Koirala was Home Minister and leader of Nepali Congress representing the party at the coalition government which lasted only for nine months.
November 16, 1951 : Matrika Prasad Koirala then President of Nepali Congress, nominated by H.M. the King as the Prime Minister - the first commoner Prime Minister under the democratic set up.
July 25, 1952 : Matrika Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister expelled by Nepali Congress from Party membership as he was found violating the party principles and acting against the Constitution of 1951.
January 24–25, 1956 : The sixth National Convention held in Birgunj which adopted the principles of democratic socialism and decentralization for social transformation; Subarna Shamsher was elected as the President.
December 7, 1957 : Nepali Congress leads civil disobedience movement in cooperation with other political parties in demanding to form an elected government as laid down in the interim Constitution. The movement stopped when an agreement was reached with King Mahendra to hold an election for the parliament.
May 15, 1958 : Participated in a multi-party caretaker government led by Subarna Shamsher to hold general election.
February 18, 1959 : Nepali Congress secures two-thirds majority (74 out of 109 seats) in Nepal's first parliamentary election held.
May 27, 1959 : Formation of the first elected government under the Prime Ministership of B.P. Koirala.
December 15, 1960 : Coup d'etate by King Mahendra with the help of the army. B.P. Koirala and other party leaders arrested, government and parliament dissolved, ban imposed on political parties, many civil liberties suspended.
January 25–27, 1961 : Conference of Nepali Congress activists held in Patna, India under the leadership of Subarna Shamsher, Deputy Prime Minister in the deposed government appealed for a non-violent movement against the Royal Coup and restoration of democracy. Merging of various political parties in Nepali Congress, including the main parliamentary opposition party Gorakha Parishad. Peaceful demonstration countrywide in which more than 2000 people were arrested.
December 1961 : Start of a full-scale armed revolt.
November 8, 1962 : Armed struggle called off and adoption of peaceful means for struggle.
October 30, 1968 : B.P. Koirala and other leaders released after eight years in prison
February 12, 1969 : B.P. Koirala calls for restoration of democracy even by violent means if non-violent methods would not work. Subsequently three pronged approach of Nepali Congress emerged for restoration of democracy. Subarna Shumshere tried to work through dialogue and cooperation with the King, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai through non-violent and non-cooperative means at home and by B.P. Koirala by armed struggle from exile in India
August 24, 1972 : Start of armed action led by B.P. Koirala. For that on November 17, 1975 (Mansir 1, 2032 B.S.) he was sentenced to death in absentia.
December 30, 1976 : B.P. Koirala returns from exile in India following the new policy of "National Reconciliation" advocating an understanding between the King and people for the restoration of democracy.
May 24, 1979 : King Birendra proclaims a national referendum following student's revolt against the Panchayat's system.
May 23, 1985 : Nepali Congress organized a nationwide civil disobedience movement against the Panchayat system in which more than 12,000 party workers and sympathizers voluntarily went to jail for several months.
January 18, 1990 : Under the command of supreme leader Ganesh Man Singh, National Conference of Nepali Congress called for a decisive movement for the restoration of democracy, welcoming other political groups to join if they desire to do so.
February 18, 1990 : Nepali Congress starts a nation-wide movement to restore democracy. It was joined by coalition of seven Communist Parties led by Nepal Communist Party (ML).
April 8, 1990 : Fall of Panchayat system following street protests. Royal proclamation ends party-less system.
April 18, 1990 : Interim Government formed under the Prime Ministership of Nepali Congress Acting President K.P. Bhattarai, representing the three forces- King, Nepali Congress, and the Communists to prepare and enact Constitution 1990 to safeguard Constitutional Monarchy and people's sovereignty with multi-party democratic set-up, and hold election, accordingly.
May 12, 1991 : Nepali Congress secures majority (114 seats out 205) in the general elections.
May 30, 1991 : Formation of elected Nepali Congress government under the Prime Ministership of Girija Prasad Koirala, the then General Secretary.
February 13–15, 1992: Eighth General Convention in Chandragadhi, Jhapa. K.P. Bhattarai elected as the party president.
November 1994 : Mid-term election held nationwide, minority government of CPN (UML) formed, different coalition government formed after the failure of minority government.
May 8–11, 1996: Ninth General Convention in Kathmandu elects Girija Prasad Koirala as the party president, a post he occupies for almost 14 years till his death on March 20, 2010.
January 19–22, 2001: Tenth General Convention held in Pokhara.
September 22, 2002: Deuba faction splits and forms NC-Democratic.
Aug 30-Sept 2, 2005: Eleventh general convention held in Kathmandu.
September 25, 2007: Nepali Congress - NC-Democratic merger.
Sep 17-21, 2010: 12th general convention held in Kathmandu.
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According to the website of Nepali Congress, the following are its sister organizations -
- Nepal Trade Union Congress-Independent
- Nepal Student Union
- Nepal Cultural Association (NCA)Nepal Cultural Association Official website www.necua.org
- Nepal Tarun Dal
- Nepal Woman Association
- Nepal Prajatrantra Senani Sangh
- Nepal Kisan Sangh
- Nepal Dalit Sangh
- Nepal Bhutpurba Sainik Sangh
- Nepal Adibashi Janajati Sangh
Nepali Jansampark Samiti (Nepali Public Relations Committee) is international Neplease organisation that links Nepali Congress party with Nepalease people abroad. It has branches in various countries throughout the world. Nepali Janasamaprak Samiti Country like Japan, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, USA, Germany have notable emerging Congress leaders.
List of Presidents (1950–Present)
|#||President||Born-Died||Term start||Term end||Notes|
|1||Matrika Prasad Koirala||1912–1997||12 April 1950||26 May 1952||Founding of the party by merger of Nepali National Congress and Nepal Democratic Congress and election of first president.|
|2||Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala||1914–1982||26 May 1952||24 January 1956||Elected by the fifth national convention held, Janakpur, May 23–26, 1952|
|3||Subarna Shamsher Rana||1910–1977||24 January 1956||23 May 1957||Elected by sixth national convention, Birgunj, January 24–25, 1956|
|(2)||Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala||1914–1982||23 May 1957||21 July 1982||Elected at special convention in Biratnagar, 23 May 1957. Re-elected by seventh national convention, May 7–13, Kathmandu|
|4||Krishna Prasad Bhattarai||1924–2011||12 February 1976||11 May 1996||Appointed Acting President by BP Koirala on 17 February 1976. Elected President by the eighth national convention in Kalwalgurhi, Jhapa on 17 January 1992.|
|5||Girija Prasad Koirala||1925–2010||11 May 1996||20 March 2010||Elected at ninth national convention, Kathmandu. Re-elected at tenth and eleventh national conventions. Died in office.|
|6||Sushil Koirala||1939–||22 September 2010||Incumbent||Appointed Acting President by GP Koirala in 2008. Elected President by the twelfth national convention in Kathmandu.|
- Krishna Prasad Bhattarai
- Sher Bahadur Deuba
- Ram Chandra Poudel
- Khum Bahadur Khadka
- Sujata Koirala
- Congress Mukti Sena- The former armed wing of the Congress Party
- Dhyan Govinda Ranjit
- Arjun Narasingha K.C.
- Gagan Thapa
Main source: U.S. Library of Congress