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RPP hits streets, keeps seats

Monday, March 20th, 2017
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Pic: Gopen Rai

After joining the Maoist-NC government only a week ago, the pro-Hindu, royalist RPP is now spearheading a street protest.

RPP Chair Kamal Thapa is now Minister of Federal Affairs and Local Development, and is overseeing the formation of 744 local councils. But his party is up in arms against the Election Commission, which is preparing for local polls on 14 May.

The RPP is outraged at the EC’s decision to remove words like ‘monarchy’ and ‘Hindu nation’ from its statute. Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav has defended the EC’s decision, arguing that the words contradict the ‘secularism’ and ‘republicanism’ in Nepal’s new constitution.

Thapa slammed the EC for ‘restricting the RPP’s political views’. But he has not quit, and his party is now on the streets as well as in Singha Darbar.

The RPP picketed in front of the EC office on Monday, and clashed with police when they were stopped. RPP leader Pashupati Shamsher JBR was injured. Protesting the police’s actions, Thapa later staged a sit-in at the EC office.

The RPP is the country’s most prominent political force aiming to restore Nepal as a Hindu monarchy. It has also registered a bill in Parliament to amend the constitution and designate Nepal ‘a Hindu kingdom with religious freedom’.

With 37 MPs, the RPP is the fourth largest party in Parliament and could be key in passing the second constitution amendment bill tabled by the ruling coalition to bring Madhesi dissenters on board. This is why Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal agreed to give two plump ministerial portfolios – Tourism is the second one – to the party.

But the RPP has refused to vote for the second amendment bill without first revising it, and is now agitating against its own government.

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One Response to “RPP hits streets, keeps seats”

  1. Southerly Wind – Machhapuchhre FM Nepalese FM on Says:

    […] Nepal perhaps does the leader of the fourth-largest party in parliament who was just installed as Deputy Prime Minister sit on the asphalt in protest. Photos this week show Kamal Thapa with a befuddled Nepal Army bodyguard confronting riot police […]

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