RPP president’s bid to formulate party strategy

Damaru Lal Bhandari

Kathmandu, February 11:

Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) chief Pashupati Shumsher Rana, who was freed from house arrest yesterday, is resorting to dinner politics to formulate the party policy to deal with the post-February 1 developments.

Thirteen leaders attended a dinner hosted by him today which included Balaram Ghartimagar, Jog Meher Shrestha, Thakur Prasad Sharma, Bisnu Maden and Padma Sundar Lawoti. Rana is expected to confer with the rest of the party’s central members and leaders shortly. However, a formal decision on the party line may come only after the party’s central committee meeting which many are demanding. Rana had also met Lokendra Bahadur Chand and senior party leaders and all of them had suggested a “brainstorming” session before finalising the party stand, amid claims that section of the party is in favour of hailing the royal takeover without reservations. “A section of the party had been saying that the government of Sher Bahadur Deuba was a non-starter. To this extent the royal move cannot be taken as an unsavory one,” said RPP central leader Padma Sundar Lawoti.

Lawoti said the party could be left with the option of seeking some definite “accommodative gesture” from King Gyanendra in exchange of our support to the new government. “Of course, we can be expected to support. But we must get to express our views on crucial issues. Things have to be clarified. That includes cabinet expansion. This is my personal view, while the party may come to any decision following the central committee meeting,” Lawoti said. A section insists that the move should be hailed as corruption was becoming an issue of grave concern.