RJP-N renews call for statute amendment

  • Warns of struggle to press the government to honour its commitment
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Top leaders to meet after a few days to decide the party’s course of action, says Mahato

Nov 14, 2018-Fed up with the government’s continued reluctance to address its concerns including amendment to the constitution, leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal have warned the KP Oli administration of launching a struggle as part of preparations for the party’s first general convention.

The third largest party in the federal parliament led a Madhes movement in 2015 in which dozens of people were killed in violent clashes with security forces. The party has been pressing for constitutional amendments to remove “discriminatory provisions against Madhes”. Both the RJP-Nepal and the ruling Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal want the provincial boundaries redrawn as one of their major demands.

The SSF-N joined the government in June after the top two leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) signed an agreement with the party promising constitutional amendments. This gave the KP Sharma Oli-led government a two-thirds majority necessary for amending the constitution.

However, the government has made no serious effort to revise the constitution while SSF-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav, who is now a deputy prime minister, is also not so vocal about its demands.

Rajendra Mahato, an influential member of the RJP-Nepal presidium who is in the plains for the Chhath celebrations, said the top leaders would meet to chart the future course of action. “A few days after the Chhath festival, the party will hold a meeting of the presidium to take necessary decision regarding the struggle,” Mahato said.

After the government failed to act on the demands of the party, its leaders and cadres have been pressing the RJP-N central leaders to launch a struggle for realisation of their demands. The party has also been demanding that its leader and lawmaker-elect Resham Chaudhary be sworn in while also releasing more than two dozen cadres languishing in prisons on “fake charges” for their involvement in various movements.

The party has decided to hold its first national convention in April next year and is preparing for the event. The Madhesi leaders were for continuing with the struggle as part of its preparations for the national convention as that would make it easier to mobilise people and to strengthen local governments.

“We waited long for the government to act, to no avail. Party leaders no more can resist extreme pressure from the ground,” said Keshav Jha, general secretary of the party. Presidium members, while handing a memorandum to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, had said before Dashain that they would wait for 10 more days after the Chhath.

Jha claimed that RJP-N leaders would be barred from Madhes if the party failed to fulfil the promises made to voters. In that case the separatist outfit led by CK Raut could get stronger, he observed.

RJP-N leaders find Prime Minister Oli committed to addressing their demands but see no tangible progress towards that end. The PM told the leaders that he had instructed his Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal to make necessary preparations for constitutional amendments.


Published: 14-11-2018 07:22

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