Two RPPs announce merger decision, againThree months after their failed merger bid, two right-wing forces Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and RPP have agreed again to become one with an understanding to campaign for reinstating Nepal as a Hindu state, an issue abandoned by the latter earlier.
Three months after their failed merger bid, two right-wing forces Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and RPP have agreed again to become one with an understanding to campaign for reinstating Nepal as a Hindu state, an issue abandoned by the latter earlier.
Issuing a joint statement on Tuesday, chairmen of both the parties said the unification would be formally announced on November 21 in the Capital. The party will have a combined strength of 37 members in Parliament, a 6.25 percent share.
On August 7, the two forces decided to announce the unification on August 9 but the process was aborted after RPP Chairman Pashupati Shumsher Rana violated the deal by sending Bikram Pandey and Deepak Bohara to the Puspha Kamal Dahal-led Cabinet against the RPP-Nepal policy. He had also announced that the merger was not possible as many issues remained to be resolved.
The RPP-Nepal had blamed Rana for working under external influence. “All issues have now been resolved. The parties will become one next week,” said RPP General Secretary Buddhiman Tamang.
In the second Constituent Assembly election in 2013, the two parties had got 9.4 percent votes—6.66 percent of RPP-Nepal and 2.74 percent of the RPP—of the 9.46 million ballots cast in the proportional representation category.
As the two ministers will remain in the Dahal Cabinet, the government will become stronger after the merger. The RPP-Nepal had stood against Dahal during his election as the prime minister.
According to high-level sources on both sides, Rana had agreed for the merger following pressure from the Lokendra Bahadur Chand-led faction, which had threatened to split the party if Rana did not relent. Rana could not resist the pressure after Prakash Chandra Lohani and Sunil Bahadur Thapa also stood against him, said a senior RPP leader.
Dilnath Giri, chief whip of the RPP-Nepal, said the RPP that had foiled the merger bid earlier had taken the initiative this time around. The RPP-Nepal has been advocating revival of monarchy and Hindu state while standing against federalism.
“Now that there are no differences on Hindu state, we need to take a decision on federalism and monarchy,” said Tamang. The party’s general convention to be held by mid-February will take a decision on the two agendas.
According to the merger deal, RPP-N chief Kamal Thapa will chair the new party and its Parliamentary Party while Rana will be named the second-in-command, national chairman, of the new outfit.
The RPP, which had been demanding executive chairman’s post for Rana, agreed to the second position after the RPP-Nepal, which is double in size, did not relent. In exchange for the top position, the RPP-Nepal has agreed to give the RPP an equal share—150 members—in the Central Working Committee. Rana will also lead the directive committee, which will take decisions on the party’s activities and selection of ministers if the need arises.
The two parties are also divided over the election symbol, though they have no differences over the RPP-Nepal flag carrying the emblem of a cow. Under pressure from their cadres, the parties started the unification bid a year ago. The RPP was formed in 1990 with Thapa as a key central member. However, the party split on January 9, 2006 due to irreconcilable differences following former king Gyanendra Shah’s taking over the state powers.