RJPN not ready to join govt despite two-point deal: Rajendra Mahato

Ishwar and Rajendra Mahato

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) ( National People’s Party of Nepal) Coordinator Rajendra Mahato has ruled out the possibility of joining the government.

RJPN and the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) on Wednesday reached a significant deal to support each other in a bid to sweep the upcoming National Assembly election.

The deal will reward the regional party at least two seats (from Province 2) in the upper house while the ruling party will get the remaining 16 seats. As per the deal, the NCP will support the candidates of RJPN in the open and people with physical disabilities quota while the latter, in exchange, will support the ruling party in women and Dalit quota.

“After the two-point deal, there have been speculations that RJPN is joining the government, which is not true,” said Mahato while speaking at a face-to-face interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Saturday.

However, Mahato hinted at possibilities of dialogues with the ruling party, eight months after it withdrew its support given to the government citing the ruling party failed to keep its promises of constitution amendment.

“There was a situation of discussion after we withdrew our support in March. But the two-point agreement has ended the deadlock,” he said.

“The deal will restart the negotiation between the NCP and the RJPN,” he added.

He also revealed that his party had held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Law Minister Upendra Yadav, who leads the Samajbadi Party, to form forge coalition among RJPN, Samajbadi and the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC).

“But after Yadav refused to form a coalition with NC, we turned to the ruling side,” he added.

“But, this coalition does not hint at RJPN participating in the federal government,” he reiterated.

“Neither will it affect the Province 2 government.”

“If the government takes our demands positively, which include constitution amendment, withdrawal of cases against our cadres, the release of former lawmaker Resham Chaudhary, we will be positive toward the government,” he furthered.

“Our support to the government depends on their response to our demands.”

He also took the occasion to clarify that RJPN is open to merger with Samajbadi Party.

The unification talks between the two parties have stalled for almost a year now after Yadav refused to pull out of the government as demanded by the RJPN.

The parties continue their strong disapproval toward the Constitution of Nepal which was promulgated in 2015. They have said that the constitution has failed to include the grievances of Madhesis and marginalized communities.