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RJP not to take part in elections if its demands are not met

By Our Reporter
The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, the newly formed political party of six Madhes-based parties, has reiterated its stance that it would not take part in the second phase of the local poll.
Although the government postponed the second phase local poll for June 23 from the pre-scheduled date of June 14 with the hope that the RJP might participate in the local poll, the party has expressed its unwillingness to join the fray.
Among others they are demanding that they should be allowed to register their party in the Election Commission and they be granted an election symbol.  But the Election Commission has clearly stated that it could not meet both the demands.
The government postponed the poll to buy time to amend the Election Act so that the EC could provide election symbol to RJP by registering their party.
Earlier, on Monday a meeting of top leaders of three major parties and agitating RastriyaJanata Party Nepal (RJP-N) in PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s residence in Baluwatar had agreed in principle to push the date of election.
PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in the meeting, had proposed to postpone the date to ensure participation of RJP-N. Main opposition UML also showed flexibility to postpone election if it ensured participation of the agitating Madhes-based party.
Later on Monday afternoon, the cabinet meeting decided to postpone the poll.
If the RJP does not participate in the poll, it will be difficult to hold the second phase local poll as well as the provincial and federal elections in the Tarai.
Although the Madhes-based parties have become weak after Upendra-Yadav-led Federal Alliance decided to take part in the local poll, the major parties have been trying to cvonvince RJP to take part in poll in a bid to avoid any unwanted situation in tarai.
The two MJFs—one led by Yadav and another by BijayGachchhadar are planning to forge alliance in the second phase poll. If the two parties, which have the stronger base than other Madhes-based parties in Tarai, take part in the poll, the RJP is likely to be cornered as people of Madhes are also eager to participate in the election. As such, RJP also wants to join the fray but it cannot participate in the poll if a few of their demands are met. Now when there is not a situation to amend the statute, they at least want registration of their party and election symbol.
The government has decided to postpone the poll with a hope of meeting these demands of the RJP.
However, if the demands of RJP are not met, they may not participate in the poll though a few leaders like MahendraYadav and Sarat Singh Bhandari are reportedly in favour of poll,
It will take at least a week to ascertain the move of the RJP. If they get election symbol, they are sure to participate in the poll ending their difference with Kathmandu and if they boycott the election, one cannot guess the future course of Nepali politics as it is guided by India that is now backing the Madhes-based parties.
The second phase poll is taking place 41 districts of Provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7 following.

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