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The ‘Panchay’ Party

editThe Rashtriya Prajatantra Party is one again. ‘Again’ is the key word here. This round, it is the unification of the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party led by Pashupati S. Rana and the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party Nepal led by Kamal Thapa that has united. Prior to this, the Rashtriya Parjatantra Party had chosen to combine with yet another former colleague who had even dropped the name altogether, that led by the late Surya Bahadur Thapa who had also assumed the post of chairman of the same party. This latest combination has prompted one significant development in the numbers game in the legislative assembly, they have increased their number in the house through the combination to thirty seven legislators. Any further course of action to be pursued by the two parties is to be determined by that inevitable conference of party workers for which a date has been ostensibly set. For the moment the unification allows the Kamal Thapa section reach into the current government where two ministers from the Rana section sit. This is as it is.
But there is more. The Thapa faction gained in numbers in the legislative assembly opposing the secularism, federalism and republicanism championed by the new constitution. The Rana faction chose not to touch upon these controversialized agenda. The Rana faction is only now talking of any chances of adopting any other agenda except that of dropping the secularism only after the meeting of cadre. The key point here is the cadre. The RPP has since the very outset been a party of former leaders of the then Panchayat System who seem to want to distance themselves from that legend. The late Rajeswor Devokota contributed heavily to the RPP’s constitution, its name, flag and program but chose to distance himself from the party to the extent that he was promoting the formation of another nationalist party at time of death. Surprisingly, when the decision of its formation was to be announced, the late Surya Bahadur Thapa chose to announce the same party earlier in the morning while that mainstream under the leadership of Lokendra Bahadur Chand was declared later the same day. No reason for the division was given and the two combined only after the first general elections where the Thapa section was barely represented in parliament.
No reason has this time been given again for the new amalgamation but the reasons for the division was the manner of support to be given to the then King Gyanendra’s government when the late Rabindranath Sharma fronted the move to back the then king’s action over and above the restriction placed by the mainstream RPP leadership. Currently Lokendra Bahadur Chand’s feud for leadership remains unsettled while yet another faction of the RPP Nepal has still distanced themselves and the breakaway Kesar Bista section is poised to announce yet another party. In this sense, the current unification of the RPP remains far from convincing on the matter of the rejuvenation of the total number of cadre towing what is called the ‘nationalist’ line. In the current circumstances, it would seem unreal to expect a clear course of action from this camp as yet apart from the general wheeling and dealing that the party has promoted since the party system was established in 1990. Here lies the fact. Since the political season has begun again, how the strengthened legislative numbers is to be used remains anybody’s guess outside of the parochial.

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