HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Nandan Kumar Dutta, who claims to be the new acting chair of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Republic, today expressed anguish over Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s reluctance for not removing Minister of Information and Communications Raj Kishor Yadav from the government.
However, in a press meet organised, Minister Yadav said that he continues to be the acting chair of the party and the demands made by the rival faction was in fact against the party statute.
Meanwhile, Dutta accused the PM of unduly favouring Yadav. “When Yadav wrote to Bhattarai to sack me from the government a few months ago, the PM did so without waiting even for a moment but it’s been four days that I have written to the PM to sack Yadav and yet he has done nothing,” Dutta said.
He went on to say that he had been seeking an appointment with the PM, but the latter was not interested to meet him. He also accused Yadav loyalist Akbal Ahmed Shah of trying to bribe some of his associates. Shah denied the charge.
“We have 14 out of 22 Central Committee members with us and we can present them to the Election Commission as and when required to verify their signatures,” Dutta said. He warned that his party would take to street as last resort if the prime minister did not remove Yadav from the government.
On its part, the Election Commission spokesperson Sharada Prasad Tirtal said she would take a few days to verify the veracity of claims of the rival factions before deciding who is the valid acting chair of the MJF-R.
When asked if he would join the Bhattarai government, Dutta said there was no question of joining this government at this stage. He said the government should play proactive role to give outlet to the current political crisis.
Dutta said his party might withdraw support to the United Democratic Madhesi Front, a major force supporting the Bhattarai government.
Devendra Poudel, political advisor to Bhattarai, said the prime minister was assured by the leaders of the MJF-R that they would themselves settle ‘their internal feud.’ Asked if the PM would dismiss Yadav as demanded by Dutta, Poudel said, “At this stage, I do not want to say the PM could sack Yadav.”