Nepali Congress

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Nepali Congress
नेपाली काँग्रेस
Abbreviation NC
President Sher Bahadur Deuba
General Secretary Shashanka Koirala
Chief Secretary Krishna Prasad Paudel
Treasurer Sita Devi Yadav
Founded April 9, 1950 (1950-04-09)
Merger of Nepali National Congress
Nepal Democratic Congress
Headquarters B.P. Smriti Bhawan, B.P. Nagar, Lalitpur, Nepal[1]
Student wing Nepal Student Union
Youth wing Nepal Tarun Dal
Women's wing Nepal Woman Association
Ideology Social democracy
Social liberalism
Democratic socialism[2]
Political position Centre[3] to Centre-left
International affiliation Socialist International
Progressive Alliance
House of Representatives
63 / 275
Election symbol
Nepali Congress Election Symbol.png

The Nepali Congress (Nepali: नेपाली कांग्रेस; NC) is a centre left political party in Nepal. It leads the current coalition government. The party's leader, Sher Bahadur Deuba, was elected as the Prime Minister of Nepal in 2017.[4]

The party was formed in 1950 by the merger of Nepali National Congress and Nepal Democratic Congress.[5] Nepali Congress Prime Ministers led four governments between the fall of the Rana regime and the start of the Panchayat era, including the first democratically elected government of Nepal in 1959.

In the most recent elections in 2013, the NC emerged as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly winning 196 of 575 elected seats.[6]


The Nepali Congress Party was formed by the merger of Nepali National Congress and Nepal Democratic Congress. The Nepali National Congress had been founded by Matrika Prasad Koirala in Calcutta, India on January 25, 1946. The Nepal Democratic Congress had been founded by Subarna Shumsher, a C class Rana, in Calcutta on August 4, 1948. The two parties merged on April 10, 1950 to form the Nepali Congress and Matrika Prasad Koirala became its first president.[7] The party called for an armed revolution against the fascist Rana regime.

During the Bairgania Conference in Bairgania, Bihar, on September 27, 1950 the Nepali Congress announced an armed revolution against the Rana regime. The president of the party also announced the "liquidation" of operations in India and that the party would function only inside Nepal henceforth.[8]

After King Tribhuvan decided to take refuge inside the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu on November 6, 1950, the Congress Liberation Army decided to take this opportunity to launch attacks against the regime before the King "left Nepalese soil". The party president Matrika Prasad Koirala, Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala and Subarna Shamsher Rana flew to Purnia, Bihar. They called the commanders posted at different strategic locations inside Nepal there to prepare for armed strikes in important places near the Nepal-India border.[8]

On November 11, 1950 at midnight Birgunj was attacked and by November 12 it fell to the Nepali Congress and the first "People's Government" was declared.[8] The liberation army was able to control most of the eastern hills of Nepal and the town of Tansen in Palpa. After pressure by the Indian government and the mass movement by the Nepali Congress and other political parties, the Rana government finally submitted to their demands and King Tribhuvan returned to the throne replacing King Gyanendra, who had been crowned king after King Tribhuvan had left for India.

Nepali Congress leaders meeting King Tribhuvan

Transitional government, 1951-1959[edit]

After the fall of the Rana government, the Nepali Congress led three of the five governments formed before the elections. Matrika Prasad Koirala, the first commoner to become Prime Minister of Nepal, led the government from 1951-1952 and from 1953-1955 and Subarna Shamsher Rana led the government from 1958-1959. The much delayed elections were finally held in February 1959 and Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal after the Nepali Congress won 74 of 109 seats to the Parliament of Nepal.[9]

Panchayat government, 1960-1990[edit]

Following a royal coup by King Mahendra in 1960, many leaders of party, including Prime Minister Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Deputy Prime Minister Subarna Shamsher Rana, and General Secretary Hora Prasad Joshi, were imprisoned or were exiled and others took political refuge in India.

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 Congres 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 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 1980 referendum, it supported the multiparty system 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 Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, who had consistently advocated constitutional reforms and a broad-based policy of national reconciliation, further weakened the party.

Although the party also boycotted the 1986 elections to the Rastriya 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 pro-democracy movement.

Post-Panchayat government, 1991-2002[edit]

After the Jana Andolan I, party president Krishna Prasad Bhattarai was invited to form an interim coalition government. In elections of 1991, the Nepali Congress won 110 of 205 seats but the party president, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, lost his seat and yielded the position of Prime Minister to Girija Prasad Koirala who held his seat until 1994.[10]

During the 1994 elections, the Nepali Congress lost its majority to Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist). The CPN (UML) did not have enough seats for a majority and formed a minority government. After 46 parliamentarians from the CPN (UML) quit to form the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist–Leninist), the Nepali Congress formed their own government with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Nepal Sadbhawana Party. After CPN (UML) offered Lokendra Bahadur Chand the position of Prime Minister, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party led a government with the CPN (UML). Internal problems within the Rastriya Prajatantra Party caused one faction led by Surya Bahadur Thapa to lead a government with Nepali Congress and Nepal Sadbhawana Party. [9][10]

Girija Prasad Koirala became the Prime Minister for a second time in April 1998 leading a Congress minority government after the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Nepal Sadbhawana Party quit the government. Eventually they got support from the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist–Leninist) and after their withdrawal the CPN (UML) and Nepal Sadbhawana Party.[9][10]

During the 1999 elections, Girija Prasad Koirala stepped aside in favour of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, who reurned as Prime Minister of Nepal when the Nepali Congress won 111 out of 205 seats in the House of Representatives. Bhattarai resigned as Prime Minister on March 16, 2000 after conflicts between himself and supporters of Girija Prasad Koirala within the party. In the party's first open leadership election, the parliamentarians selected Girija Prasad Koirala as their leader by a 69-43 vote over Sher Bahadur Deuba. Accordingly, King Birendra redesignated Girija Prasad Koirala as Prime Minister on March 20.[9][10]

On August 8, 2000, Koirala dismissed the Minister of Water Resources, Khum Bahadur Khadka, for calling for Koirala’s resignation. Although Koirala beat back another challenge by Deuba’s supporters at a party convention in January 2001, he resigned as Prime Minister on July 19. Deuba then defeated Secretary General Sushil Koirala, 72–40, for the party leadership and was designated Prime Minister by the king.[9][10]

In the May 2002 the party's disciplinary committee expelled Deuba for failing to consult the party before seeking parliamentary extension of the country’s state of emergency. Deuba’s supporters then expelled Koirala at a general convention in June 16–19. Deuba registered his faction as the Nepali Congress (Democratic)[11], following a decision by the Election Commission that the Koirala faction held ownership of the name “Nepali Congress,” taking 40 of the party's lower house representatives with him.[10]

King Gyanendra's rule, 2002-2006[edit]

In the months following the King’s October 2002 decisions to dissolve the House of Representatives and replace Prime Minister Deuba with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party’s Lokendra Bahadur Chand, the party joined the CPN (UML) and other, smaller parties in challenging the constitutionality of the moves. The party played a significant role in the formation of the Seven Party Alliance (SPA), which launched a series of street protests against the King's regression. The Seven Party Alliance which had earlier steered clear of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and their violent methods, signed a 12-point understanding in Delhi in November 2005. The agreement contained three key commitments: first, the SPA endorsed the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) fundamental demand for elections to a Constituent Assembly; second, the Maoists reciprocated with an assurance that they accepted a multi-party political system, the prime concern of the SPA; third, the SPA and the Maoists agreed to launch a peaceful mass movement against the monarchy.[9]

Constituent Assembly, 2006-2015[edit]

On April 26, 2006 the dissolved parliament was reinstated by the King and a small government was formed under the premiership of Girija Prasad Koirala, the president of the Nepali Congress. A Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed between the government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in India on November 2006 and the Nepalese Civil War formally ended.[10]

On 24 September 2007, Nepali Congress (Democratic) and Nepali Congress unified as a single party with the Constituent Assembly elections looming. Girija Prasad Koirala remained the president of the newly unified 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).[10]

The party joined the coalition government headed by Madhav Kumar Nepal in May 2009. Girija Prasad Koirala angered some in the party by nominating his daughter Sujata Koirala for the post of Foreign Minister. In June, in a contested election for leader of the party’s parliamentary group, Ram Chandra Poudel defeated former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.[10] The 12th General Convention of the party was held in Kathmandu from September 17–21, 2010. The convention elected Sushil Koirala as the party president.[12]

After the Constituent Assembly of Nepal was dissolved by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai after failure to draft a new constitution before the deadline.[13] In the resulting elections, the party emerged as the largest party winning 196 of the 575 elected seats.[14] A new coalition government was formed with the CPN (UML), under the leadership of Sushil Koirala.[15] The country's new constitution was promulgated under his leadership on September 20, 2015.[16]

Recent developments, 2015-present[edit]

Sushil Koirala resigned as Prime Minister on 10 October 2015 after losing support from the CPN (UML) .[17] The Nepali Congress joined the government again on August 2016, after backing Pushpa Kamal Dahal to become Prime Minister after an agreement between the two parties.[18] According to their agreement, Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned on May 24, 2017[19] paving the way for Sher Bahadur Deuba to become Prime Minister for a fourth time on June 6, 2017.[20]

On 22 April 2017, the Akhanda Nepal Party joined the Nepali Congress ahead of the 2017 Nepalese local elections.[21][22]


The party was founded on the principle of democracy and socialism. In 1956 the party adopted democratic socialism as its ideology for socio-economic transformation.[5] In the 1980s, the Nepali Congress Party abandoned its socialistic economic program in favor of a mixed economy, privatization, and a market economy in certain sectors. Its foreign policy orientation was to nonalignment and good relations with India.[23]

Electoral performance[edit]

Election Leader Votes Seats Position Resulting government
1959 Matrika Prasad Koirala 666,898 37.2
74 / 109
1st Congress
1991 Krishna Prasad Bhattarai 2,742,452 37.75
110 / 205
1st Congress
1994 Girija Prasad Koirala 2,545,287 33.38
83 / 205
2nd CPN (UML) minority
1999 Krishna Prasad Bhattarai 3,214,068 37.29
111 / 205
1st Congress
2008 Girija Prasad Koirala 2,348,890 22.79
115 / 575
2nd CPN (Maoist)–CPN (UML)–MJFN
2013 Sushil Koirala 2,694,983 29.80
196 / 575
1st Congress–CPN (UML)–RPP
2017 Sher Bahadur Deuba 3,128,389 32.78
63 / 275


Sher Bahadur Deuba: current party president and Prime Minister of Nepal

Presidents of the Nepali Congress[edit]

Senior Leaders[edit]

Name Portrait
Ram Chandra Poudel Ramchandra paudel.jpg
Sher Bahadur Deuba Sher Bahadur Deuba 2006.jpg
Dr.Shashanka Koirala
Ram Saran Mahat Ram Sharan Mahat (4).JPG
Arjun Narasingha K.C. KC Profile.jpg
Bal Chandra Poudel Bal Chandra Poudel Nepali Congress.png
Gagan Thapa Gagan Thapa ICIMOD (cropped).jpg

Nepali Congress Prime Ministers[edit]

Name Portrait Terms in office
Matrika Prasad Koirala Matrika Prasad Koirala2.jpg 1951-1952, 1953-1955
Subarna Shamsher Rana Subarna Samsher Rana.jpg 1958-1959
Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala BP Koirala.jpg 1959-1960
Krishna Prasad Bhattarai Krishna bhattarai.jpg 1990-1991, 1999-2000
Girija Prasad Koirala Girija Prasad Koirala (cropped).jpg 1991-1994, 1998-1999, 2000-2001, 2006-2008
Sher Bahadur Deuba Sher Bahadur Deuba 2006.jpg 1995-1997, 2001-2002, 2017-present
Sushil Koirala Sushil Koirala 2010-04-15.jpg 2014-2015

Sister organizations[edit]

According to the website of Nepali Congress, the following are its sister organizations.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Contacts". Nepali Congress. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Nepali Congress, An Introduction Archived 2011-02-08 at the Wayback Machine..
  3. ^ Sharma, Gopal (6 June 2017). "Nepali Congress leader Deuba elected PM for fourth time". Reuters. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  4. ^ (, Deutsche Welle. "Nepal parliament elects Sher Bahadur Deuba as new prime minister | News | DW | 06.06.2017". DW.COM. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  5. ^ a b " Nepali Congress Official website | Political party of Nepal". Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  6. ^ "Nepali Congress wins most votes in elections". BBC News. 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  7. ^ Surendra., Bhandari,. Self-determination & constitution making in Nepal : constituent assembly, inclusion, & ethnic federalism. ISBN 9789812870056. OCLC 879347997. 
  8. ^ a b c "Remembering the revolution". Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f 1936-, Brass, Paul. R. (Paul Richard),. Routledge handbook of South Asian politics : India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. ISBN 9780415716499. OCLC 843078091. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tom,, Lansford,. Political handbook of the world 2015. ISBN 9781483371573. OCLC 912321323. 
  11. ^ "Nepali Congress split formalised (THT 10 years ago)". The Himalayan Times. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  12. ^ UWB (2010-09-23). "Nepali Congress: New Leadership, Old Challenges". United We Blog!. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  13. ^ "Nepal parties resign as constitution deadline passes". BBC News. 2012-05-28. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  14. ^ DPA. "Nepali Congress emerges largest party in parliament". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  15. ^ "Sushil Koirala wins vote to be Nepal's prime minister". BBC News. 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  16. ^ "Nepal's new constitution endorsed through Constituent Assembly - Xinhua |". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  17. ^ "Nepal's Koirala resigns as PM and seeks re-election". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  18. ^ Sharma, Bhadra (2016-08-03). "Nepal Elects Pushpa Kamal Dahal as New Prime Minister". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  19. ^ PTI (2017-05-24). "Nepal PM resigns ahead of final round of local elections". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  20. ^ PTI (2017-05-24). "Nepal PM resigns ahead of final round of local elections". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  21. ^ RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI. "Akhanda Nepal Party Samanantar joins Nepali Congress". The Himalayan Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  22. ^ "Akhanda Party Nepal unites with Nepali Congress". Inheadline. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  23. ^ Subho., Basu, (2010). Paradise lost? : state failure in Nepal. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739146644. OCLC 670122356. 
  24. ^ " Nepali Congress Official website | Political party of Nepal". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 

External links[edit]