RPP feud intensifies as Rana boycotts meetingThe internal feud in the Rastriya Prajatantra Party has intensified with senior leader Pashupati Shumsher Rana boycotting the party’s crucial executive committee meeting on Tuesday, protesting Chairman Kamal Thapa’s “unilateral” decision to nominate 42 Central Working Committee members.
The internal feud in the Rastriya Prajatantra Party has intensified with senior leader Pashupati Shumsher Rana boycotting the party’s crucial executive committee meeting on Tuesday, protesting Chairman Kamal Thapa’s “unilateral” decision to nominate 42 Central Working Committee members.
The executive committee was called to set the agenda—including the party’s poor showing in the local level elections and the future strategy—for the party’s CWC meeting scheduled for Wednesday. The CWC meeting is the second after the unified RPP was formed in November with the merger of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal and the RPP.
Leaders from the erstwhile RPP close to Rana have been dissatisfied with Thapa mainly over the issue of selecting the electoral symbol and joining the government.
The rift widened after Thapa nominated 42 central committee members on July 14, without consulting with Rana, to ensure his comfortable majority in the party. Thapa increased the CWC size to 163-member.
“Thapa has the habit of running the party autocratically, which is the main cause of the feud,” a senior leader representing former RPP told the Post.
Thapa is known to be intolerant of opposition and whoever challenges him has ultimately walked away. Padma Sundar Lawoti, Keshar Bahadur Bista and Prakash Chandra Lohani had to leave the party as they challenged its unilateral move, party insiders say.
Leaders close to Chairman Thapa, however, claim that it was Rana who sowed the seed of dispute. A senior leader said the nominations followed Rana’s signature campaign against the party leadership. The split faction needs to muster at least 40 percent majority either in the Parliamentary Party or the CWC to retain the posts of lawmakers who decide to form another party. Otherwise, the establishment can terminate their positions. Thapa appointed members to the CWC to make sure that the dissident faction does not have the required strength.
“We are mediating to resolve the problem,” said Vice-chairman Buddhiman Tamang, who comes from the former RPP. “Nobody wants division. We won’t let it happen.”
Though Rana is unlikely to attend the CWC meeting, leaders from both the factions believe the problem will be resolved while keeping the party unit intact.
Chairman Thapa is mulling over nominating leaders from the Rana faction in around 10 CWC posts that are still vacant. Party Spokesman Sushil Kumar Shrestha, who is close to Thapa, said every decision of the party was taken transparently and that the chairman was open to resolving the problem, “if any”.
Meanwhile, the party’s Executive Committee concluded that in addition to the domestic factors, I/NGOs funded by the United States and the European Union had lobbied against the RPP. According to an assessment presented by Vice-chairman Dhurba Bahadur Pradhan, the I/NGOs worked against the RPP with their propaganda that the party’s agenda of Hinduism was defeated. The report also blames internal feud and extravagant spending by the major parties for the RPP’s electoral drubbing.
The fourth largest party in Parliament won the chairs of four rural municipalities and the mayor in one sub-metropolitan city, leaving the party in the fifth position, behind the Upendra Yadav-led Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal.