Rashtriya Janata Party-Nepal registered with the Election Commission for provincial and parliamentary elections.
According to a report published in The Himalayan Times, the party sought umbrella as its election symbol for provincial and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 26.
A meeting of RJP-N office bearers a few days ago had decided to seek bicycle as its election symbol for third phase local polls slated for September 18. The RJP-N sought bicycle as election symbol after the Election Commission refused to grant the party ‘umbrella’ as election symbol citing technical and legal reasons.
Member of the RJP-N Presidium Rajendra Mahato told THT that party leaders urged the EC to remove five election symbols – human hand, arrow, a pair of oxen, rail engine and an old man with a walking stick from the ballot papers in the third phase of local elections.
The bicycle was used by National Madhes Socialist Party in the past.
Mahato said RJP-N leaders told EC office bearers that if five other election symbols of the RJP-N constituents were used in the ballot papers that could confuse voters and raise the percentage of invalid votes. Mahato said they also told EC office bearers that if they did not remove the other five election symbols from the ballot papers, then they should be ready to count the votes cast for these symbols as the RJP-N’s votes.
In the past, an arrow symbol was used by Sadbhawana Party, human hand by Nepal Sadbhawana Party, a pair of oxen by Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, rail engine by Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum- Republican and an old farmer with a walking stick by Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Nepal.
EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma said removal of the five election symbols as demanded by the RJP-N was not possible as the EC had already printed ballot papers for the third phase of local polls. “
Acting President of Nepali Congress Bimalendra Nidhi said RJP-N’s decision to take part in the upcoming elections was constructive and far-sighted as it had accepted the constitution and also sought to amend its provisions.
Nidhi likened the RJP-N’s continued struggle for an amendment to the Constitution as the CPN-MC’s continued advocacy of directly elected president.
Nidhi said the ruling alliance had given value to the three-point agreement and put the constitution amendment bill to vote, which signified political alliance between the three forces — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-Maoist Centre, and the RJP-N. He said if the upcoming general election gave a two-thirds majority to the forces that wanted an amendment to the Constitution, the statute could be amended.