RJP-N to join central govt after leaders’ release

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Leader says PM Oli could rearrange the roles of incumbent ministers

Jun 3, 2018-After induction of two Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal ministers into the federal government on Friday, leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal have said they are ready to join the Cabinet too.

For that, the Madhes-based party has set the condition of releasing its leaders and cadres who are in jail. Lawmaker Resham Chaudhary, a murder accused in the Tikapur lynching of police personnel in 2015, is one of them.

“We’ll discuss about joining the government once the ruling parties agree to release our leaders and cadres languishing in prison,” said Rajendra Mahato, a leader of the RJP-N presidium.

The third largest party in the federal parliament with 17 lawmakers has no clear position on joining the government since its six top leaders are divided on the issue.

With the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) pledging to address their major demand of constitution amendment, RJP-N leaders are positive about joining the government. However, they accuse SSF-N Chairman Upendra Yadav of “weakening the Madhes movement by abandoning the agenda” and the government of employing a divide and rule policy.

“We fought for the rights of Madhes together but Yadav deceived us by making a unilateral deal with the government,” Mahato said. RJP-N Sources claimed that the government has started the process to release the party’s leaders and cadres from jail.

Asked how RJP-N leaders might be inducted into the Cabinet, RJP-N General Secretary Keshav Jha said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli could rearrange the roles of incumbent ministers.

“Prime Minister Oli recently hinted that he would not continue with ministers without technological know-how,” said Jha.

The RJP-N is likely to have a discussion with top NCP leaders after the PM’s visit to China later this month. If the RJP-N joins the government at the Centre, the NCP could also be incorporated in the Province 2 government, said Jha.

The political committee of the party scheduled for June 8 would discuss the recent political developments besides finalising the date for the national convention. The RJP-N has yet to select its Parliamentary Party office bearers.

Published: 03-06-2018 07:12

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