Shashank wrongly claims Nepali Congress as Nepal’s oldest party

Sujit Mainali / May 6, 2016

Shashank Koirala. Photo: youtube grab

Shashank Koirala                                                                                                                                          Photo: youtube grab

In an interview with a Nepali-language news website during his latest visit to the US, Nepali Congress (NC) General Secretary Shashank Koirala said:

“Nepali Congress is…oldest party (of Nepal).”

South Asia Check has fact-checked this statement.

According to the NC website, Nepali National Congress was formed in January 1947 with BP Koirala as its acting president. In April 1950, the party was unified with Nepal Democratic Congress (established in 1948) and was renamed Nepali Congress with Matrika Prasad Koirala as its president.

Even before the formation of NC, several organized groups had been struggling against the Rana regime.

Prachanda Gorkha was the first among such organized groups fighting to bring political change in Nepal.

Former NC leader Matrika Prasad Koirala in his memoir “A role in Revolution” has mentioned that Prachanda Gorkha formed in 1931 was the “first organized effort, which was supposed to have a popular motive”.

Bhuwan Lal Sharma and Leo E Rose in their book “Democratic Innovations in Nepal: A Case Study of Political Acculturation” have further mentioned that the efforts of the Prachanda Gorkha was a form of “traditional conspiratorial opposition” and it lacked the nature of a modern political organization.

Khadga Man Singh, one of the founders of the Prachanda Gorkha, in his memoir “Jail Ma Bis Barsa (20 Years in Prison)” has recalled that their group had planned to massacre the entire members of the Rana families through bombing and hand over the reins of power to the monarchy.

But the members of the Prachanda Gorkha were arrested before they could execute the plan.

After the advent of democracy in Nepal, Prachanda Gorkha failed to transform itself into a modern political organization.

It is mentioned in the “Democratic Innovations in Nepal: A Case Study of Political Acculturation” that after some years of the formation of Prachanda Gorkha, the nucleus of Nepal Praja Parishad was formed and the party elected Tanka Prasad Acharya as its president in 1940. The goal of this party was to introduce democracy under the patronage of monarchy. The party had even participated in the first general election held after the introduction of democracy in 1951.

Nepali Congress was formed more than 10 years after the formation of Nepal Praja Parishad.

Thus, Shashank Koirala is wrong in saying that Nepali Congress is the oldest party of Nepal.

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