The Election Commission today updated the record of 35-member executive committee of the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal recognising Upendra Yadav as the only party chair.

Spokesperson for the EC Raj Kumar Shrestha said Mahantha Thakur was not listed as the party's co-chair among its 35 executive members. JSP-N leader Ram Sahay Yadav said the party had demoted Thakur to a general member after he went against the party's decisions.

The EC updated the party's record after the JSP-N made changes to the 51-member executive committee removing supporters of Mahanatha Thakur and Rajendra Mahato.

On July 27, the EC gave authenticity to Upendra Yadav-Baburam Bhattarai faction of the party after 34 members of the party's 51-member executive committee supported the faction during the support verification process. Only 16 members of the executive committee had supported the Thakur-Mahato faction.

The factional feud in the JSP-N intensified after the Thakur-Mahato faction decided to support KP Sharma Oli for prime ministership under Article 76 (5), whereas the Yadav-Bhattarai faction threw its weight behind Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba in his bid for prime ministership under the same article.

Ram Sahay Yadav said the EC had recognised the Yadav-Bhattarai faction as the authentic party. "This means that all the leaders of the party are bound to follow party discipline." He said the Thakur-Mahato faction was flouting party rules and discipline by organising mass assemblies in the Tarai districts and levelling accusations against party leadership. He said the Thakur-Mahato faction could be punished for violating party discipline.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to issue an interim order against the Election Commission's decision to unify Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and Samajbadi Party-Nepal on 8 July 2020.

A division bench of justices Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Sushma Lata Mathema observed that there was no need to stay the EC's decision as the issue raised by the petitioner could be settled in the final hearing.

This order was issued in response to a writ petition filed by the then vice chair of the erstwhile Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal Raj Kumar Thapa against the EC and others.

The petitioner has asked the court to invalidate JSP-N unification for failing to ensure inclusion in the party's central committee and for not getting the unification proposal passed by the RJP-N and SP-N's central committees before the unification.

Senior Advocate Mithilesh Kumar Singh had pleaded before the SC on behalf of the establishment faction of the party.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 10 2021, of The Himalayan Times.