Nepal ceased being a Hindu nation in 2006 and the country’s 240-year-old monarchy was ousted after the previous constituent assembly polls five years ago.
But restoration of monarchy and the world’s only Hindu nation tag are issues that still resonate among voters as the country heads for another constituent assembly election next week.
Most believe nothing of that sort will happen, but pro-monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal hopes to win seats by rooting for these two issues. In its manifesto RPP-N proposes constitutional monarchy and naming of Nepal as Hindu state with equal respect for all religions.
“There’s an organised campaign underway to weaken Hinduism in Nepal by converting many with enticements. This has to be stopped,” said RPP-N chairman Kamal Thapa.
Trying to cash in on resentment against politicians, the former king undertook extensive ‘religious tours’ before declaration of poll dates.
The party hopes to secure support of the 80% plus Hindu population, some of whom still view Shah as a saviour and are not happy at Nepal being declared a secular nation.
Earlier this year, Thapa launched a successful signature campaign seeking renaming of Nepal as a Hindu state. Most parties fear this plank may affect their prospects.