Ramchandra Jha preparing for return five years after quitting UML

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Ramchandra Jha has started preparations to return to CPN-UML five years after he quit the party to join the Maoists. Jha, who had quit UML in May, 2012 accusing the party of being mean toward Madhesi agenda ahead of the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election, had left CPN (Maoist Center) after Baburam Bhattarai quit the party.

Jha now looks set to quit Naya Shakti Nepal. "I have not quit yet but have already decided to quit the party," he told Setopati. He is currently discussing with UML leaders of different levels to return to the party. UML leader Pradeep Gyawali confirmed talks about Jha's homecoming for the past five months or so.  

"There have been talks about Jha even at the central level now. But his return has yet to be confirmed," he added. Gyawali, UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel and a few other leaders have already talked with Jha, Former UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal has also talked with Jha a few times.  

UML believes that return of Jha, who has a strong base in Madhes, will energize the party in Madhes in the upcoming elections. Jha was the most influential UML leader from Madhes when he was in the party.

Jha also confirmed talks with UML about possible return but he says he will not return abandoning his agenda about Madhes. "It will be easier for me to do politics from UML. They also want me to return but they don't want to talk on the agenda," he stated.

He insists that UML should be generous toward the Madhes agenda. "I can't abandon the principles for which I had quit the party. But I can return if the party were generous toward the Madhes agenda," he added.  

Jha has been dissatisfied with Naya Shakti after its dismal result in the local polls, and failure to build the party. He has grown further distant from Bhattarai during his stay in the party instead of coming closer to him.

A few leaders who had quit UML along with him have already returned to the party. Anita Yadav, who was treasurer of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, and central member of RJP Rajeshwor Mahaseth have already returned to UML. Expert of Mithila culture and artist Ramesh Ranjan Jha, considered close to Ramchandra Jha, has also returned to UML recently.