Tripathi, four Madhesi leaders to contest polls with CPN-UML’s election symbol

Kathmandu, October 2

Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal suffered a blow today as five of its leaders including Hridayes Tripathi struck a deal with the CPN-UML to contest the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections with the  UML’s election symbol — the sun.

Tripathi, Brijesh Kumar Gupta, Ishwar Dayal Mishra (Kapilvastu), Pashupati Dayal Mishra, and Jagadish Shukla (Banke) signed a deal on behalf of Swatantra Rajnitik Samuha.

CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel issued a press release saying Tripathi and four other leaders had signed a deal with his party agreeing to use the UML’s election symbol in the upcoming elections.

According to the agreement, these Madhesi leaders will use the UML’s election symbol but will be active on behalf of Swatantra Rajnitik Samuha.

“It is our common responsibility to ensure justice, equality and prosperity by ending exploitation, oppression, discrimination and inequality that people, including those in the Tarai-Madhes have been suffering,” the release stated.

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma said the two parties could form a poll alliance and contest elections using one of the parties’ symbol, but for that to happen both parties should be registered with the EC. Swatantra Rajnitik Samuha has not been registered as a political party at the EC. Tripathi, who was dissatisfied with the RJP-N,  was given the status of permanent invitee in the RJP-N presidium. Tripathi was not happy with RJP-N leaders as he did ‘not get the position he deserved.’ He had also opposed the RJP-N decision not to register with the Election Commission before the second phase of elections. The RJP-N had boycotted the first and second phases of local polls. Tripathi comes from Nawalparasi district where the second phase of local polls was held.

RJP-N leader Laxman Lal Karna said he was surprised to learn that Tripathi, who had been given the status of permanent invitee to the presidium of the RJP-N had joined hands with the UML which was an ‘anti-Madhesi party’.

Repeated efforts to contact Tripathi for comments failed.