By Our Reporter
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) has split in seven months after it held its unity convention in February this year.
Pashupati Shumsher Rana formally broke the party by registering Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Democratic) in the Election Commission on Sunday.
Of the total 153 CWC members, 72 have supported Rana while of the 37 lawmakers 22 have joined Rana’s new party.
The RPP created by unifying Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and Pashupati Shumsher Rana-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party was mired in disputes due to the working style and opportunist behaviour of party chairman Kamal Thapa right from the day Thapa was elected to the top post.
In the CA elections 2013, RPP-N had won 25 seats but now only 15 of them are with Kamal Thapa. This is why Rana on Monday claimed that his was the mainstream RPP.
Thapa has accused the former king Gyanendra and Nepali Congress of causing the division in the party. However, a few leaders of Thapa-led RPP have pointed their fingers at India for the split. They said the party was united at the Indian instruction to endorse the constitution amendment bill and was divided due to unstable activities of chairman Thapa.
Kamal Thapa’s RPP-N had won the 25 seats in the CA elections due to his party’s pro-Hindu and pro-monarchy slogans but he gradually gave up them. His nationalist posture which he gained while serving as Deputy Prime Minister in the KP Oli-led government faded away when he joined the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government formed by pulling down the Oli-led government.
Moreover, Thapa stood in favour of the constitution amendment bill which irked many of the RPP lawmakers. Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani quit the RPP within a month of its unity and formed a new pro-Hindu party in March.
Now with Rana forming new RPP (D), Kamal Thapa –led RPP has lost its status of the fourth largest party in the parliament.
The CWC members, who defected from RPP to support Rana, include Deepak Bohara, Sunil Thapa, Bikram Pandey, Ram Kumar Subba, Nabaraj Subedi, Hari Bahadur Basnet, Dhurba Bahadur Pradhan, Ram Chandra Raya and others.
These leaders have blamed Thapa for the split stating that he compromised on the party’s main ideology — Hinduism and monarchy, which was political dishonesty. They also accused Thapa of promoting nepotism and favouritism in the party.
“Due to his opportunist behaviour the party suffered serious setback in the local level polls,” they argued.
Of six deputy chairpersons of the RPP, three had supported Rana; two general secretaries and the deputy parliamentary party leader supported Rana.
The lawmakers who joined the Rana included Anaandi Pant, Biraj Bista, Sita Luitel, Kamaldevi Sharma Dhano Mahara, Rajeshwori Devi, Resham Bahadur Lama, Sayendra Bantawa, Deepak Bohora, Ramesh Kumar Lama, Saroj Sharma, Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Geeta Singh, Ram Kumar Subba, Lila Devi Shrestha, Babina Moktan, Ishtiak Ahamad Khan, Bikram Pande, Rajya Laxmi Shrestha and Laxmi Thapa.
Of these, 10 lawmakers had gone missing when the government had prepared to table the controversial constitution amendment bill for voting in June. These 10 lawmakers had foiled the plan of the Dahal-led government to endorse the amendment bill without receiving support from the CPN-UML.