‘Thapa’s concession on monarchy, Hindu state caused RPP-N split’
- Row over PR candidate selection, earlier blamed, was only the catalyst
Jan 13, 2014-
Chairman Kamal Thapa’s statement that his party is ready to make a compromise with big political parties on the issue of monarchy and the Hindu state flared the feud in the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, leading it to its split, party insiders say.
Apparently, the selection of lawmakers under the proportional representation (PR) category led some to quit the party. However, party insiders say, the flexibility of Chairman Thapa on the two key issues was the main reason behind their defection.
Thapa had publicly announced that his party was ready to compromise on the issues of monarchy and Hindu state if the major parties come up with an amicable solution. His statement, according to leaders, created two factions in the party. While the establishment faction argued that there should a compromise as the party was not in a decisive position, the disgruntled faction was against the idea.
In an interview with the Post on December 29 last year, Thapa said, “Despite the fact that we have received six times more votes than last time, we still don’t have enough. So it is not just our agenda that will be established. A compromise is necessary and the people recognised that the NC-UML are capable of finding this compromise.”
Some 20 Central Committee (CC) members on December 30 decided to part ways under the leadership of former minister Tanka Dhakal claiming that the chairman monopolised the party and bypassed them in PR nominations. However, half of them including Dhakal, returned to the mother party confessing their “blunder to defect”. “Ideological differences led to the split and the PR issue played a catalyst,” said Shyam Timilsina of the dissident faction. “Thapa is ready to make any kind of compromise in party ideology for his benefits.” Timilsina claimed that the compromise on Hindu kingdom and constitutional monarchy was betrayal against voters.
Party insiders say the members from the disgruntled faction decided to correct their move after Thapa convinced them the party will not give up the agenda. In the CC meeting held after their return, Thapa assured of correction if there were any mistakes.
Leaders close to Thapa defend that the sole reason behind the split was the PR issue. “The party ideology has nothing to do with the split,” said Mohan Shrestha, the party spokesperson. RPP-Nepal, with 24 seats, is the fourth largest party in the Constituent Assembly.
Published: 13-01-2014 08:52