The Nepali Congress is a Nepalese political party. Nepali Congress led the 1950 Democratic Movement which successfully ended the Rana regime and allowed commoners to take part in the polity. It again led a democratic movement in 1990, in partnership with leftist forces, to end 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 Nepali Congress organized its 12th General Convention in Kathmandu from September 17-21, 2010. The Convention elected Sushil Koirala as the party president and Prakash Man Singh, son of Ganesh Man Singh, as the general secretary. This was the first general convention of the party after the unification of Nepali Congress (Democratic) and Nepali Congress on September 25, 2007.
After the merger, Girija Prasad Koirala had remained president of the unified party, with Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Sher Bahadur Deuba as seniormost leaders.
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 when many leaders of party, including Prime minister B P Koirala were imprisoned, many party leaders sought sanctuary in exile in India to setup 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.