KATHMANDU, July 21: Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party has reiterated its position in favor of parliament passing the constitutional amendment bill.
The central working committee of the fourth largest party in parliament has decided to vote for the amendment bill if voting takes place, said the party leaders. RPP has 37 lawmakers in parliament.
The official decision of the party says, "RPP is a common stance among major political parties for bringing liberal political forces in Madhes on board mainstream politics". An influential party official said Chairman Thapa hinted at the meeting that the party will vote for amendment just as it had said in the past.
“The party chairman indicated at the meeting that the party will join the Nepali Congress-led government if the ruling party is ready to accommodate RPP with respectable positions, and will also vote for the amendment bill,” said the party official requesting not to mention his name.
Another party official said the meeting entrusted senior party leaders with taking decisions on the two issues that are appropriate to the party's interests . He further said that some leaders of the party are still not sure they want to support the amendment.
Earlier, as many as 10 party leaders opposing the amendment bill did not appear at the parliament meeting . Some RPP leaders are openly opposing the amendment bill.
RPP sources claimed that the party has demanded four influential ministries as a condition for joining the Sher Bahadur Deuba cabinet. Earlier, the party was adamant on a deputy prime ministerial portfolio for joining the government.
Following the party's humiliating defeat in the local level elections held so far in six of the seven provinces, some RPP leaders are for joining the government even if it meant compromising on the portfolios and the number of ministries.
Party Chairman Thapa had summoned the central committee meeting after rifts surfaced between Thapa and senior leader Pashupati SJB Raja .
“At the meeting, the leaders expressed strong commitment to party unity in the broader interest of the party . This meeting has also settled internal disgruntlements,” said party deputy spokesperson Mohan Shrestha.
The party has demanded that the Election Commission do away with the pair of oxen as an election symbol from the ballot paper, claiming that it had confused voters loyal to RPP. The pair of oxen was the election symbol of the Tarai-Madhes Loktantrik Party, which became the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal after merger with six various Madhes-based parties.
Likewise, RPP has demanded the issue of a bank note bearing the picture of King Prithvi Narayan Shah to honor his contribution to national unification, said party spokesperson Bhuwan Pathak.