CK Raut, the leader of erstwhile Alliance for Independent Madhes (AIM), has launched a new organization named Janamat Party. His party will participate in the elections and will continue to struggle to safeguard the rights of people in line with the Constitution of Nepal 2015. The newly-formed party has sought support from people, media, political parties and civil society organizations. The AIM convention attended by over 150 delegates representing 22 districts of southern plains also welcomed the agreement CK Raut signed with the government. This marks a welcome shift from the secessionist agenda that had been widely reviled across the country. Welcome to the mainstream politics, CK Raut.
The transformation of AIM into Janamat Party and CK Raut coming into mainstream is meaningful for two main reasons. First, with a new name, CK Raut has given the strongest message that his party is for the people. He has reassured the people that he had signed the agreement in a good faith and he will agree to play by the rulebook of democracy. When the alliance he led signed an agreement with the government on March 8, there had been various interpretations of the clauses used in the agreement. Many questioned CK Raut’s commitment and accused the government of conceding to referendum on secession. The government was criticized for striking the deal that could potentially give legitimacy to a secessionist agenda; some even interpreted Raut’s U-turn as a tactical move. Leaders from both ruling and opposition parties vocally stood against the government and Raut. While Raut interpreted Janaadbhimat as referendum, the government claimed there had been no agreement on referendum. Thus whether Raut would abide by the agreement or would go ahead with his original agenda stepping on the ‘loopholes’ of the deal had become everyone’s concern. Ten days later Raut has proved all skeptics wrong. Now the government’s position has been vindicated and CK Raut has found wider acceptance in Nepal’s political landscape.
Many consider that Raut can meaningfully contribute to development and prosperity of the country. He can use his expertise and knowledge for the wellbeing of fellow citizens and his role will be instrumental in initiating meaningful reforms in health and education in Tarai Madhes and the entire country. Nepali society largely appreciates learned men and Raut may become popular among his constituency. He had become an eyesore for many Nepalis precisely because the agenda he raised was against sovereignty, territorial integrity and national independence of Nepal. Now that he has renounced the misguided agenda and completely transformed himself, he deserves appreciation from all. We welcome him into his new political journey. With the right agenda in his hand, there is no question why he will not succeed.