Ravi Lamichhane faces crisis both Govt and party, General Secretary Mukul Dhakal suspended

Kathmandu: The Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) has decided to suspend General Secretary Mukul Dhakal. An official informed that the central committee meeting on Wednesday suspended Dhakal on the recommendation of the party’s discipline commission.

The official stated that the decision to suspend Dhakal was made because he engaged in activities contrary to party discipline and acted against the party.

Earlier today, the discipline commission’s meeting recommended action against Dhakal.

The party took action against him for refusing to speak in the meeting and for speaking against the party to the media outside the meeting.

General Secretary Dhakal had attended Wednesday’s meeting with a mask and black tape on his mouth. The RSP had been discussing a report he had prepared throughout the day.

Out of the 52 central committee members who spoke in the meeting, 50 raised questions about Dhakal’s activities.

“He acted in a way that could destroy the very party he had helped establish,” the official said. “Initially, there were no plans to reach the point of taking action today. However, after he spoke to the media outside the meeting, the discipline commission recommended action.”

General Secretary Dhakal accused party president Ravi Lamichhane of not conducting police transfers and promotions transparently while he was the Home Minister.

Additionally, Dhakal warned that he would reveal everything when the time comes, even though he refrained from disclosing everything now.

The controversy surfaced, particularly after General Secretary Dhakal submitted a report he had prepared following a month-long country tour to the party president.

Dhakal accused the party of not being a national party in the upcoming elections if it continued in its current manner and alleged that the president was running the party autocratically.

He stated that his report should be made public as it is and that the central committee meeting should be broadcast live.

12 Hours of Tension at Ghantighar

The Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RSP), which had halted its Central Committee meeting in the first week of May and sent General Secretary Dr. Mukul Dhakal on a nationwide tour, spent the entire day today discussing the review report presented by the General Secretary.

The Central Committee meeting, held at the party headquarters in Balaju, referred to as Ghantighar, began at 8:30 AM and continued until 8:30 PM, with all Central Committee members having spoken.

General Secretary Dhakal participated in the meeting with black tape over his mouth. The 12-hour meeting has placed the position of the party’s founding General Secretary Dhakal in jeopardy.

Dhakal had requested that today’s meeting be broadcast live. When Chairman Rabi Lamichhane sought the opinions of the Central Committee members on Dhakal’s proposal, all members, except Dhakal, opposed the idea, according to Deputy Spokesperson Manish Jha. The members felt that broadcasting the meeting, which included discussions on various internal and sensitive topics, would be imprudent.

Following the decision not to broadcast the meeting, General Secretary Dhakal attended with black tape over his mouth. When Dhakal refused to present his report, citing an infringement on his freedom of expression, Deputy General Secretary Kabindra Burlakoti read the report instead.

Out of the 64 Central Committee members, 52 were present at today’s meeting. All members shared their views, with each speaking for 5 to 7 minutes, though most took 10 to 15 minutes.

Except for two members, all Central Committee members were aggressive towards Dhakal regarding the review report. They questioned him on why the party had reached its current state.

Only Two Members Supported Dhakal In the meeting, only two Central Committee members spoke in favor of General Secretary Mukul Dhakal.

“Two members presented their views in support of the General Secretary in a soft manner; they were not as aggressive as the others,” said one Central Committee member present at the meeting.

The remaining 50 Central Committee members questioned Dhakal’s working style and the review report, attributing the party’s current state primarily to him. Dhakal, who stayed for the entire meeting, did not speak when it was his turn. Outside the meeting, he claimed harassment and made various allegations against Chairman Lamichhane.

Meanwhile, the weather has been cooler since mid-June, but the national political scene has been heating up over the past two days. The political tension, which has been rising, has now caused a conflict within the RSP, which has been in the government for less than four months.

Since its announcement, the RSP has always been in the limelight. This party, which made a surprising entry in the 2079 general elections, has been more in the spotlight after entering parliament and the government.

The party has faced various controversies, from the scandals involving the party chairman to accusations of bribery involving a sitting MP. The recent controversy began after the party candidate in Ilam-2 lost their deposit in a by-election, placing fourth. This led to Dhakal’s review tour.

Dhakal’s 32-page review report, prepared after visiting 32 districts over a month, has caused a stir within the RSP. The report, some details of which were leaked before it was submitted to the chairman, gained further attention.

Not only in the media and social networks, but the RSP General Secretary’s report also became a topic of discussion even in a meeting between Prachanda and Oli. In their meeting, the leaders questioned Home Minister and RSP Chairman Rabi Lamichhane about the state of his party, to which he responded that it was nothing significant. However, Dhakal’s review report not only stirred the RSP but also put Dhakal’s position at risk.

The RSP has initiated disciplinary action against General Secretary Dhakal, accusing him of violating party discipline. Last Friday, he was asked for an explanation by the Disciplinary Commission.

After refusing to speak in the meeting and making serious allegations against Chairman Lamichhane to the media, most Central Committee members expressed that Dhakal should no longer remain in the party.

Despite the drizzle, there was a crowd at the RSP party office in Baneshwor throughout the day. While the Central Committee meeting continued on the fifth floor with 52 Central Committee members, the ground floor was filled with leaders, activists, journalists, and security personnel. As soon as the meeting began with the Home Minister present, tension arose, leading to increased security.

During breaks for meals and snacks, leaders provided updates to the media about the meeting. This was possibly the first time RSP leaders openly shared details with the media during a meeting.

Double Trouble for Rabi With the government on the verge of collapse, RSP Chairman Rabi Lamichhane is on the brink of losing his position as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister for the second time in a year and a half. He is also nearing a separation from General Secretary Dhakal, who was trusted with significant responsibilities since the party’s inception. Dhakal, who had collaborated with Rabi even before the party’s establishment in constructing a hospital in Raskot, Kalikot, had exercised considerable power within the party.

During the meeting, other leaders frequently came out of the meeting room to speak with journalists, while Chairman Lamichhane appeared anxious throughout the day. According to Vice-Chairman Swarnim Wagley, it was the first time some of the chairman’s proposals were rejected by the party.

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