Kathmandu, January 11
Bibeksheel Sajha Party, which had pledged to emerge as an alternative democratic force, suffered a split today as a group led by Ujjwal Thapa, one of the two coordinators of the party, filed an application at the Election Commission to form a new party, claiming that it had 42 per cent of Central Committee members of the party.
Milan Pandey, who is with Thapa, said 16 out of 37 Central Committee members of the Bibeksheel Sajha Party went to the EC today to form a separate Bibeksheel Nepali Party. Other members of the Thapa-led group that filed the application at the EC include Ranju Darshana, Pukar Bam, Ramesh Paudel, Shubhuna Basnet, Biraj Bhakta Shrestha, Sadhana Rai, Ajita Rai, Anusha Thapa, Govinda Narayan, Gyanendra Niraula and Jivan Shrestha.
Pandey said another Coordinator of Bibeksheel Sajha Party Rabindra Mishra did not discuss a political document prepared by Thapa in the party meeting and Thapa led group found it beneficial to form a new party to serve the nation than being a part of Bibeksheel Sajha Party. “Bibeksheel Nepali Party and Sajha Party had united with a view to creating an alternative force in the country, but we realised that Mishra had a different understanding of alternative forces than that of Thapa and people close to him,” Pandey added.
Pandey said two out of three Bibeksheel Sajha Party lawmakers who were elected in Province 3 last year also were with Thapa. Among the two PA members who have sided with Thapa are Biraj Bhakta Shrestha and Ramesh Paudel. The third PA member Shobha Shakya remains with Mishra-led Bibeksheel Sajha Party.
EC Spokesperson Shankar Prasad Kharel said that the polls panel had received an application from Thapa-led group and it would verify the names and signatures of the applicants before recognising the group as a different party. He said if Thapa’s claim of having at least 40 per cent CC members with him was proven right, the EC would uphold his claim.
Thapa-led Bibeksheel Party and Mishra-led Sajha Party had merged on July 26, 2017 to create a unified Bibeksheel Sajha Party. Mishra could not be contacted for comments.
A version of this article appears in print on January 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.