RJP-N, SP-N to hold unity talks after Dashain

Kathmandu, October 4

Leaders from Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and Samajwadi Party-Nepal, who have been holding informal negotiations for weeks to unify their parties, are working to hold formal and decisive negotiation after Dashain festival to decide on their merger.

Leaders from both parties said informal talks between them had been positive. “Both the RJP-N and the SP-N are in favour of creating an alternative force in the country and that will happen only when our two parties unite,” said RJP-N leader Rajendra Mahato.

The RJPN has  put forth a condition that the unity must happen on the basis of equal status of the two parties besides asking  the SP-N to  quit the government before the unification process began. “SP-N leaders are saying that the decision to quit the government can be made by the unified party, but we are saying that the SP-N should do it now as the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)–led government is not ready to address our demands,” said Mahato.

Both these parties demand amendment to the constitution, particularly revision in the provincial boundaries so that Madhes areas could remain in Madhes province.

“The SP-N must quit the government if it wanted to create a viable alternative force. The two old forces, the Nepali Congress and the NCP cannot ensure better governance and empowerment of marginalised communities,” Mahato added.

He said if the two parties united, that could immediately change the equation of 80 electoral districts of Madhes. “If two parties unite, then that can build positive momentum across the country by rallying those forces that have been championing the cause of identity, equal rights and empowerment of marginalised communities,” he said.

Mahato said if the two parties decided to unite, the RJP-N would postpone its General Convention scheduled for November 14-16.

Deputy Chief of Publicity Department of SP-N Bishwadeep Pandey said formal talks could not happen between the two parties as SP-N Chair Upendra Yadav and Co-chair Rajendra Shrestha were out of the country. Pandey also said that the two parties would formally hold dialogue on unity after Dashain festival. Pandey said the two parties still had not narrowed down their differences on the question of leadership and unified party’s ideology. “In our party all leaders are for directly elected president whereas RJP-N advocates prime ministerial form of government,” he said.

Two members of RJP-N Presidium Anil Kumar Jha and Rajkishor Yadav have been opposing likely unity between the RJP-N and SP-N. RJP-N leaders Jha and Yadav, who unfairly became members of party presidium enjoying equal statues, were opposing unity with SP-N because they feared that they might not get the same key role in the unified party’s leadership, according to a RJP-N leader.