Rift in RJP-N on contents of party statute

Leaders have varied views on where the names of two legendary leaders should be mentioned in the party’s documents — Rajkishor Yadav, RJP-N presidium member

Kathmandu, July 5

The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, which was preparing to register with the Election Commission today, failed to do so due to differences among its constituents on the contents of the party’s statute.

An RJP-N source said Mahendra Yadav and Sharat Singh Bhandari, who are members of the party’s presidium, were against mentioning the contribution of two legendary late Madhesi leaders — Gajendra Narayan Singh and Ram Janam Tiwari — in the statute, whereas other members of the presidium — Mahantha Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Anil Kumar Jha and Rajkishor Yadav — were in favour of doing so. The proposal to mention Singh and Tiwari in the party’s statute was tabled by Jha.

Another source in the RJP-N said Mahendra Yadav and Sharat Singh Bhandari had signed all the documents yesterday after all the issues were resolved in the party. Other members of the RJP-N presidium were expected to sign party documents today and register the party with the EC.

But that didn’t happen.

Later, Sharat Singh Bhandari left for New Delhi today for personal work.  Five other members of the RJP-N presidium met for six hours today but failed to iron out differences. Mahendra Yadav was opposed to mentioning the name of any leader in the party’s statute. He said if any name had to be mentioned that should be done in the party’s election manifesto and not in its statute.

Yadav pointed out that major political parties — the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML — had not mentioned the names of their legendary leaders in their parties’ statutes.

RJP-N leader Ram Naresh Ray, who is close to Mahendra Yadav, said it was natural for the party to debate all the issues to make it a democratic outfit. “I am confident that the party will soon reach a conclusion on all issues,” he added.

Rajkishor Yadav said it was natural for members of the presidium to express their opinions. “There is no difference on respecting the contribution of the two leaders — Singh and Tiwari. Leaders  have varied views on where their names should be mentioned in the party’s documents,” he added.

Yadav said the party would reach a conclusion by Sunday.

Singh was the founder chair of Nepal Sadbhawana Party, the first Madhesi political outfit after the 1990 movement.

Tiwari was associated with the Nepali Congress and had taken part in the armed struggle against Ranas before championing the cause of Madhes. According to Madhesi leader Bikas Tiwari, Ram Janam Tiwari  was imprisoned for 18 months for submitting a petition to the Palace Secretariat opposing the Harka Gurung panel’s report on internal migration.

Meanwhile, RJP-N leader Hridayesh Tripathi has expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of the party. He told THT that western Tarai felt let down by the party. “It was a mistake on the part of the party not to register with the EC before the second phase of elections,” he added. Tripathi said the party needed to review its role and address the issues raised by the leaders and cadres of the party from the western Tarai region.