Rajendra Lingden: No one person or family will direct RPP

Pratik Ghimire

Pratik Ghimire

Rajendra Lingden: No one person or family will direct RPP

Five questions to Rajendra Lingden

The ‘Unity General Convention’ of the pro-monarchy Rastriya Prajatantra Party elected senior leader Rajendra Lingden as its chairman. The three-day event, held in Kathmandu, saw Lingden defeat Kamal Thapa, who accused former King Gyanendra of interfering in the party’s affairs and lobbying against him.

Pratik Ghimire of ApEx talked to Lingden about his vision for the party and the challenges he expects in the new political journey.

What do you think will be your major challenges as the new party chair?

Besides internal reforms in management and administration, we will now focus on uniting all forces who share our agenda and sentiments. Although our agenda is extensively popular, our party has been weak, and that’s a cause of concern. So our major challenge will be to win the trust of our well-wishers and supporters.

Is the restoration of the Hindu state and monarchy possible? What if there is a referendum on this?

RPP often raises this agenda, so it looks like we are the only ones interested. But actually, the entire nation wants a Hindu state and monarchy. For instance, you surely have seen a large population participate in different rallies calling for the restoration of the Hindu state and monarchy. It is possible, definitely. We will reinstate monarchy and Hindu state, sooner or later—it is just a matter of time. And if there is a referendum, there is no doubt that our agenda will win.

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Yet your party has been a poor electoral force of late. How will you turn things around?

Yes, our performance in elections has been poor. We have never been so weak in our history. Despite having a large following, we failed to turn them into our vote banks. It is because of our poor mechanisms and strategies. For example, during the general election of 2017, we failed to create a reliable and trustworthy coalition with other parties. Also, among 165 constituencies in the federal parliament, we only contested in five constituencies. Similarly, of the 330 provincial constituencies, we managed to contest only in four places. So our poor showing was not a surprise.

Nirmal Niwas congratulated you on your victory. What is your expectation from the former king and what kind of an obligation would you feel towards him?

There is no such thing as expectation or obligation between us. Our party was not, is not, and never will be directed by any particular person or family. We did not form the RPP according to anyone’s will. We back the agenda of the Hindu state and monarchy as we believe they are the twin pillars necessary to maintain social harmony and unity, not because somebody wants us to take them up. It is nothing but a misconception. I met the former king in a group meeting a few days ago and that was after almost four years.

Your relationship with Kamal Thapa seems to have frozen. Is that a right reading?

First of all, I don’t think our relationship is frozen. Kamal Thapa is my respected senior and I shall initiate talks to keep our relationship healthy (if there is a misunderstanding) because there is no option but to work together. Of course, you will have competition in elections and a loss is something no one wants. His reaction is normal, and things will get better with time.