June 7, 2017 12:30 AM NPT
KATHAMANDU, June 7: The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) on Tuesday joined several other parties to elect Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the 40th prime minister.
The development came in wake of a three-point agreement between the ruling NC, CPN (Maoist Center) and the agitating Madhesi parties. The agreement among other things seeks to amend the constitution possibly after the completion of the second phase of the local elections.
Tuesday's development has raised possibility of RJPN's participation in the second phase of the local polls. The party has been demanding constitution amendment before going to the polls.
RJPN leader Laxman Lal Karna said that they decided to support Deuba after he assured them that the demands of the agitating parties would be fulfilled.
"We decided to give him a chance after he gave a written commitment to address the demands," said Karna.
The three-point agreement is similar to the agreement reached between the ruling alliance and the agitating parties last year. In the agreement, NC chief Dueba and Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have reaffirmed their commitments to implement the three-point agreement reached with the Madhes-centric parties during the formation of the Dahal-led government. Besides amending the constitution, the two leaders have also pledged to form a Federal Commission, withdrawal of cases relating to the Madhes movement, pay for the treatment of the Madhes movement injured and provide compensation to the families and victims of various agitations in tarai plains. The agreement also seeks to increase the number of local units in the tarai districts.
On behalf of the RJP, Mahendra Raya Yadav, Sharat Singh Bhandari, Anil Kumar Jha, Raj Kishore Yadav, Sarbendra Nath Shukla and Laxman Lal Karna had signed the agreement.
Likewise, a separate agreement was signed between the ruling coalition and the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) headed by Upendra Yadav, seeking commitments in writing from the party to vote for the NC president in the election. Forum has 15 lawmakers, while RJPN has 24 lawmakers.
Even as FSFN has announced to take part in elections, RJPN has not made any official decision.