A ‘weakened’ RJP says its agenda still alive

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Difference of opinions among the leaders shows the RJP-N is yet to become an organicallyunited force

Aug 3, 2017-The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N), a little over three months old now, on Wednesday inaugurated its new party office in Babarmahal, but the glum was palpable than the glee, as party leaders appeared convinced that their movement “was weakened by the state”.

Realising that a unified force could only create enough pressure on major parties to address their demands, six Madhes-based parties in the third week of April announced their merger to form the RJP-N. Its aim was to build pressure from the streets and at the negotiating table. The party refused to participate in the first phase of local polls and boycotted the second round. The government postponed polls in Province 2 so as to bring the RJP-N on board the poll process. But after the government failed to ensure required votes in Parliament, an amendment to the constitution, the RJP-N’s key demand, is in a state of limbo.

The RJP-N is still not sure about participating in the third phase of local polls scheduled for September 18.

At a meeting of the office bearers at the party’s newly inaugurated office, Chairman Mahantha Thakur on Wednesday presented a two-page political document, in which he has stated the “state was successful in dividing the Madhes-based parties to weaken our movement”.

“But our agenda is still alive and our movement will continue,” reads Thakur’s political document, in which he has also lashed out at Upendra Yadav’s Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, saying that it played into the hands of “rulers” by deciding to join the polls which it “baldy lost”. As far as polls in Province 2 are concerned, Thakur though has stated the party’s stance of not participating in the elections until its three-point agreement, which also calls for an amendment to the constitution, is implemented, party leaders had divided opinions.

Most of the 12 leaders who aired their views on Wednesday suggested that the RJP-N should join the polls “to save the party”.

Keshav Jha, Jangi Lal Raya, Surendra Patel and Sriman Narayan Mishra called on the leadership to accept the result by letting the governing parties put the constitution amendment bill to vote and join the polls.

Kaushalendra Mishra and Anil Kumar Singh stood against joining the polls without constitution amendment.

The difference of opinions among the leaders, who until four months ago represented different parties, shows the RJP-N may have united to become a single group, but it is yet to become an organically united force.

Published: 03-08-2017 07:11

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