RPP convention: Lohani backs Lingden, Rana for unanimous leadershipPro-monarchy party has been demanding revival of Nepal as Hindu state, and abolition of republicanism, federalism.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) General Secretary Rajendra Lingden has challenged party chair Kamal Thapa’s aspiration to take the command of the united right wing party.
As the ‘unity general convention’ of the party commenced in the Capital on Wednesday the competition of the two leaders was visible right from the inaugural session. The RPP was formed following a merger between Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Pashupati Shumher Rana and Prakash Chandra Lohani led Rastriya Prajatantra Party in March last year. Thapa, Rana and Lohani became the chairpersons of the ad hoc committee until the ‘unity convention was held’.
Among the three chairpersons, only Thapa has declared his aspiration to repeat in the position. He is continuously in the leadership position ever since a section of the former Panchayat rule supporters formed the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal in 2006 countering former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party.
As many as 4,560 representatives of the party have gathered in the Capital to devise the party’s future strategy and select a new leadership for the next four years. Around 3,000 representatives were selected from 330 electoral constituencies for the provincial assemblies while the chairpersons of the rural municipalities, municipalities, district and provincial committees too are the representatives in the national congress.
The election process will commence Thursday. The national jamboree will conclude on Friday electing a new leadership for the next four years.
The pro-monarchy party has been demanding revival of Nepal as a Hindu state, and the abolition of republicanism and federalism, which are considered remarkable achievements in the Constitution of Nepal.
Mohan Shrestha, press coordinator for the general convention, said the election process for leadership selection will commence Thursday while the voting will be held on Friday.
Of the 199-member central committee of the party, the national jamboree will elect 149 members including a chairperson, three vice-chairs and three general secretaries. The latter two positions must have one woman each. Seven deputy general secretaries, treasurer, deputy treasurer, spokesperson and deputy spokesperson and other central committee members will be picked by the chairperson. There is 33 percent reservation for women in the central committee.
In their inaugural address, Thapa and Lingden requested each other to withdraw their candidacy to elect a unanimous leadership. Thapa urged Lingden to wait for four years to claim the leadership. “It is time to give a message of unity. So let us elect a new leadership unanimously,” he said. Lingden was the party’s only candidate elected to the House of Representatives.
Lingden, however, asked Thapa to understand the aspirations of the cadres for a change in leadership. “It is not just the issue of leadership, it is about running the party effectively which is not possible from the existing leadership,” he said. “The party stands at a very challenging period in its history. Now it is up to the party cadres to decide what they want.”
Dhawal Shumsher Rana, mayor from Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City and actress Rekha Thapa have announced their candidacies for general secretary from Lingden camp. Bhaskar Bhadra, Bhuwan Pathak and Kunti Shahi are the aspirants for the position from Thapa’s camp.
Lohani, one of chairs, has extended his support to Lingden saying it is time for a change in leadership. Rana, another chairperson, however, is still neutral. “I myself didn’t contest to give a message of unity. I would like to urge everyone to select the leadership unanimously,” said Rana.