Thapa RPP faction speeds up efforts to woo politicos

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu,January 22:

After announcing the date for the “broader national political convention,” the breakaway faction of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), led by former prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa, has been accelerating efforts to woo leaders of major political parties, including the Nepali Congress (NC), NC (Democratic) and the CPN-UML, to join it.

The three-day convention of the outfit, which will come up with agendas and programmes for socioeconomic transformation and recommendations to resolve the Maoist crisis, is slated to begin from March 3 in Kathmandu. “Discussions with the leaders are under way,” a close aide to Thapa told this daily, but refused to disclose the names enthusiastic about joining the outfit. “While some leaders of the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (NSP) have given their nod, some leaders of the NC (D) are discussing the pros and cons.”

Two retired secretaries, Dr Krishna Aryal and Rabi Bista, have joined the outfit.

Confirming the efforts aimed at attracting leaders of other parties, former minister Sarbendra Nath Shukla said the convention would announce a new democratic force. The same would see the announcement of the flag, statute and election symbol of the party.

“The party would work as an alliance of political leaders, civic society and intellectuals,” he said, adding that the party, treating the people as the true source of power, would announce its socio-economic and political agendas during the convention.

“The existing political system, which lacks adequate participation of all classes, ethnic groups, caste and communities, needs overhauling.” Thapa had announced in October that, since there is a genuine need of a competent leadership, ideology and organisation to fulfil the dream of making a strong and developed Nepal, the new outfit would “serve the interest” of the people. The convention is expected to draw over 1,500 delegates from all the 205 constituencies.

The source added that a committee headed by Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani is working on a paper that would be presented during the convention.