Rana splits RPP to form new party

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The Rana faction claims support of 22 lawmakers and 72 central committee members from Thapa-led party

Aug 7, 2017-Nine months after unification, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the fourth largest force in Parliament, faced another split on Sunday with senior leader Pashupati Shumsher Rana applying for party registration at the Election Commission.

The Rana-led faction has requested registration of the new force as the RPP (Prajatantrabadi). The faction has claimed the support of 22 lawmakers and 72 central committee members.

“The decision to split the party less than six months after the unification convention is unfortunate,” RPP Chairman Kamal Thapa tweeted, claiming that most of the signatures were forged. He called on cadres to keep calm.

The Rana-led faction also informed the Parliament Secretariat about its move. The secretariat has verified the signatures of 19 lawmakers. The RPP has formally split in less than a year of merger between the RPP led by Rana and the RPP-Nepal headed by Thapa. The two parties had merged in November last year.

A faction led by Prakash Chandra Lohani has already registered a new party—Ekiktrit Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Rastrabadi), at the EC.

“Around 70 leaders have handed over signatures along with the application,” said an EC official. However, the group has yet to submit documents such as the party statute. “Once all the necessary documents are presented, the EC will take a decision on party registration,” the official added.

Thapa and Rana had united with the agenda of pressing for revival of Hindu state and monarchy. Senior leader Lohani parted ways on March 29 citing differences with Thapa on the election symbol and the issue of monarchy.

Since Lohani’s departure, the party has no clear position on the ousted monarch’s fate. During unification, the leaders had agreed to pick ‘plough’ as the election symbol but Thapa later decided to opt for ‘cow’. RPP leaders are engaged in a blame game after the party fared poorly in the two phases of local level elections.

Leaders Dipak Bohora, Sunil Thapa and Bikram Pandey have sided with Rana. Thapa wished to join the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government taking the posts of a deputy prime minister and three ministers but the Rana-led faction wanted to stop him, said a leader close to Thapa. The dispute between Thapa and Rana came to the fore on July 14 after the latter issued a statement accusing the chair of running the party in an “autocratic” manner.

Published: 07-08-2017 07:08

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