RJPN in confusion over next step

July 4, 2017 05:30 AM


RJPN fielded candidacies in more than 20 local units including in Rupendehi and Kapilvastu but has not won even a single seat until fourth day of the vote count on Monday.
KATHMANDU, July 4: The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN's) last-minute decision to join the local polls after declaring a boycott has started to backfire, with many in the party calling on their leadership to justify the flip-flop. 

The anger toward RJPN leadership has especially multiplied with the party's dismal performance in the second phase of local polls. 

The party, which fielded candidacies in more than 20 local units including in Rupendehi and Kapilvastu, has not won even a single seat until fourth day of the vote count on Monday. Many RJPN leaders including those who fielded independent candidacy for the polls think that many of them would have won the elections had the party taken a clear stance from the beginning.
  
While a section of the RJPN leaders is demanding clarification from the party leadership for its sudden change of plan, others have asked the party to come up with a clear stance during the third phase of the local elections. 

“The decision to boycott the polls was short-sighted because all knew from the beginning that the party was not in position to stop polls in Province 5. Since the party unanimously decided to boycott, we accepted the decision. The party would have benefited more had the leaders refrained from joining the polls at the last moment,” said an RJPN leader who had initially advocated for joining the polls. 

With the third phase of the local polls round the corner, pressure is mounting on RJPN leaders to set out a clear roadmap. With Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's government showing no sign of constitution amendment before the third-phase polls slated for September 18, RJPN leaders are left with limited choices.

Another boycott would make it difficult for the party to justify why it took part in the second phase of the elections. Joining the polls without amendment is neither easy. 

RJPN Vice-chair Brishesh Chandra Lal said that the party is in discussion to decide the future course. 

 “It's a tricky situation as the hopes for constitution amendment have almost ended. We would come up with a clear stance within a few days,” said Lal.

Some RJPN leaders close to Rajendra Mahato and Raj Kishor Yadav have pressed the party leaders to withdraw support given to the government to mount pressure on the government to fulfill its demands. They are also reaching out to the UML to end the ongoing stalemate. 

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