Kathmandu: The government will soon be deciding to observe Poush 27 (Jan 11), birth anniversary of late Prithvi Narayan Shah, as the National Unity Day, undoing an act of mischief committed by the G P Koirala cabinet 16 years ago.
This is one of the conditions put forward by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party in response to an invitation extended by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to join the cabinet. The RPP is currently supporting the government from outside.
High placed RPP sources confirmed that negotiations are continuing, adding “restoration of Prithvi Jayanti as a National Unity Day and public holiday have been our non-negotiable demands”.
The other conditions will be guided by the common programme the government and the RPP are finalizing. Understandably, the Party has been offered a Deputy Prime Minister as well as couple of more ministers but a final decision about it will be taken soon, sources said.
It was Nepali Congress leader K P Sitaula who as Home Minister of G P Koirala had decided to stop celebrating the day as a National Unity Day in April 2006 provoking a chain of assault and attack on statues of the Shah kings including that of Prithvi Narayan shah across the country.
Interestingly, the status of the National Unity Day is being restored at the initiative of the RPP which is currently led by Rajendra Lingden, the person who defeated Sitaula in the November 20 election.