constitution amendment
Mahendra Raya Yadav- Photo: Mukunda Kalikote, Reporters’ Club Nepal

KATHMANDU, May 24: The chances of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), the fourth largest party in the federal parliament, joining the government are becoming uncertain due to lack of concrete assurance over constitution amendment from Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli. In the backdrop of growing rift between Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and the government, RJPN leaders held a meeting with PM Oli at Baluwatar on Thursday. The RJPN leaders said that they are open to the possibility if the government assures them of constitution amendment.

Meanwhile, the RJPN, even five months after the conclusion of November 26 December7 House of Representatives and Provincial elections, has failed to elect a parliamentary party leader, deputy leader, chief whip and whip, among others. The government also unveiled its policies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year 2018/19 on May 21. Focusing on these issues, Reporters’ Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala has interviewed Mahendra Raya Yadav, leader of RJPN. Here is an edited excerpt of the interview:

What is RJPN’s view on the policies and programs brought by the government?

It is ambitious but not enough to meet the people’s dream of economic prosperity. Therefore the policies and programs must be amended. Also, it is important how to implement the endorsed programs.

Why do you think the policies and programs are not enough?

The policies and programs need some changes. We have proposed amendment over it because it, especially, has failed to include the problems of families of the martyrs. The policies and programs, in overall, have excluded the agenda of ensuring fundamental rights to all the people of the country.

Should not the policies and programs focus on economic agendas?

The government should find out the ways to resolve the ongoing political problems along with agenda of economic development. Without resolving the political problems, economic development is not possible.

How likely is RJPN joining the government?

There have been no such talks about RJPN participating in the government. Unless the government gives unequivocal assurance to constitution amendment, release of political prisoner and treatment of those injured in the Madhes movement, moral ground for us to participate in the government will not be created.

Isn’t constitution amendment RJPN’s major agenda?

Certainly! People have given us a mandate to amend constitution. Therefore, until our demands are not met, the door to join the government will not open. People will not discount us to abandon the agenda of constitution amendment.

What do the people of Madhes want?

People of Madhes want unity between the political parties. It is their wish to have a strong force in Madhes.

Why has RJPN elected a parliamentary party leader yet even after five months of conclusion of the elections?

We are preparing statute. After we finalize the statute, we will nominate a PP leader. It will happen soon.

Will RJPN elect Mahantha Thakur as its PP leader?

He is the coordinator of party’s presidium committee. He is a proper leader and possesses a right kind of maturity. He can lead all other party leaders together. It will be better if the party nominated him as the PP leader.

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