Just a decade after Nepal’s 240-year-old monarchy was overthrown, the political force that unsuccessfully tried to prevent an erstwhile Hindu kingdom from turning into a secular republic is now making a resurgence.
The Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) – which was recently born after the unification of the Hindu royalist RPP Nepal and its mother party RPP that rejected monarchy and voted for republicanism after the 2006 Democracy Movement – began its first general convention in Kathmandu on Friday.
The unified force retained the name of its mother party – RPP, but is headed by Kamal Thapa whose breakaway faction emerged as the fourth largest party – after the NC, the UML and the Maoists – following the 2013 elections.
Thapa has declared that his unified party will beat the Maoists, and emerge as the third largest party in the next elections. He also said that his party, unlike the Maoists, will not be a distant third party. “We will win many more seats than in 2013,” he told journalists before the convention kicked off.
The RPP now has only 37 seats in the 601-seat Parliament, way behind the third largest party CPN (Maoist-Centre) that has 84 seats. However, it is still a key force, and the ruling parties are trying to woo it to pass the second amendment to the constitution bill.
After the unification, the former RPP that voted for republicanism has once again toed the line of monarchy – an agenda that the Thapa-led RPP Nepal singlehandedly carried all these years. And the unified RPP’s ultimate aim is to revert Nepal to a Hindu monarchy.
At the inauguration of what was described as the unity party, UML Chair KP Oli said the RPP could now emerge as a new political force. He asked other parties to be aware of a resurgent RPP. “The RPP could become a new force, and eat into votes gained by other parties in the last elections,” he said.
Oli had said the same thing when he spoke at the launch of the new force led by former Maoist ideologue Baburam Bhattarai. But he said on Friday that Bhattarai’s party has already failed due to its wrong policy.
NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba retorted: “The RPP had won most votes from Jhapa (Oli’s home district) in the last elections. So you must be more cautious than us.”Go back to previous page