Rift surfaces in RJP-N over registration for polls

Kathmandu, June 5

Members of the presidium of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal are divided over the registration of the new party with the Election Commission.

A Madhesi leader told THT that RJP-N leaders discussed about registering their new party with the EC, but member of the RJP-N presidium Mahendra Ray Yadav told the meeting that he wanted to contest the second phase of local polls on the basis of his old party — Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal and its election symbol and therefore, he was not in favour of registering the RJP-N with the EC for now. The source said Yadav refused to sign the documents that RJP-N leaders wanted to submit to the EC for registration.

The RJPN will have to submit the decision of the six parties — Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, Sadbhawana Party, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Republican, Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party –Nepal, Nepal Sadbhawana Party and National Madhes Socialist Party that merged a few weeks ago to create the united party RJP-N.

According to the source, another member of RJP-N presidium Sharat Singh Bhandari also supported Yadav’s view that the RJP-N should not be registered with EC now. “We want to contest the second phase of local polls, but we want the government to prepare conducive environment for us to take part in the polls,” the source added.

He said the RJP-N had not taken any decision to take part in the second phase of elections yet.

“We can participate in the second phase of local polls only after the government addresses our concerns,” the source added.

Yadav and Bhandari could not be contacted for comments.

He said the divisive voice expressed by Mahendra Ray Yadav had disappointed Madhesis, which would adversely impact the unity of the Madhesi forces.

Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said a unified party could register with the EC, but such a party could not get a new election symbol.

“If a unified party wants to choose an election symbol among the existing symbols then it is fine, but such a party cannot get a new symbol,” Yadav said.

He added that ballot papers had already been printed for the second phase of local polls and therefore, the EC could not grant a new symbol to a party at this stage. RJP-N leaders have demanded that they be given a new election symbol for them to take part in the second phase of local polls.