Rana-led RPP unifies with Thapa-led RPP-N

Kathmandu, November 21

After months of unity efforts and speculation Pashupati Shumsher JB Rana-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal merged today.

The unified party that retains the name RPP has now become the fourth largest party with 37 members in Parliament.

The party would adopt the flag of RPP-N but it would decide on the electoral symbol in the general convention scheduled to be held within three months.

Speaking at a special function here today, Thapa said Hinduism would be the social and cultural base of the unified party. He said the upcoming general convention of the party would take decision on whether it should adopt constitutional monarchy or republicanism as the party’s official line.

Thapa also asked the government and major political parties to be flexible to resolve the problems of the Madhes. “If we do not think seriously, it would be difficult to manage secessionist voice,” said Thapa. “Constitution cannot be implemented without resolving problems of Madhes.”

Rana said a strong nationalist party had emerged from the unification and the unified party would represent people’s aspiration. He said the country with over 82 per cent Hindu population could not remain a secular state. “Hindu state should be mentioned in the constitution and we would struggle for it if needed,” said Rana.

RPP stated that the central committee meeting, which is scheduled to be held on Wednesday would decide whether to continue supporting the government or not, said party’s Co-spokesperson Mohan Shrestha.

If RPP continues to support the government and all the parties that supported Dahal to become the prime minister on August 3 continue supporting the current coalition, its strength could reach 388 in the 601-member Parliament that has 594 members.

The number falls eight votes short of the two-third majority. Political analyst Tula Narayan Shah said if RPP supported the government’s bid to amend the constitution, it would help build environment for constitution amendment.

When Dahal was elected PM on August 3, he had secured 363 of 573 votes cast.

RPP-N with 25 lawmakers had voted against Dahal. Other parties that voted against Dahal were UML (183 MPs), CPN-ML (five MPs), Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (four MPs), Rastriya Janamorcha (three MPs), Rastriya Janamukti Party (two MPs) and Madhes Samata Party (one MP) voted against Dahal.

CPN-Maoist Centre has 82 seats in the Parliament, Nepali Congress 207 and Madhesi parties have 53 seats.

Meanwhile, the unified Rastriya Prajatantra Party today filed an application at the Election Commission seeking its recognition as Rastriya Prajatantra Party.