The Election Commission has asked members of the executive committee of the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal to appear before it on July 26 with original copies of their citizenship certificates or voter identity cards.

EC Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said the poll panel ordered the party to bring their executive committee members to verify which faction of the party – the one led by Mahantha Thakur and Rajendra Mahato or the one led by Upendra Yadav and Baburam Bhattarai - had the majority in the party.

The EC has also said that those members who were in the executive committee when the two parties – Samajbadi Party-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal unified - should come to the EC for verification. The Yadav-Bhattarai faction has a majority in the 51-member executive committee of the party. The Yadav-Bhattarai faction is in majority even in the parliamentary party.

JSP-N lawmaker Ram Sahay Yadav, who is close to Upendra Yadav, said 30 of the 51 members of the executive committee had submitted their signatures to the EC supporting the Yadav-Bhattarai faction's claim for authenticity.

The Thakur-Mahato faction had claimed that the party had delegated power to Thakur to change the composition of the executive committee on the basis of which Thakur had, on May 17, expelled 20 members from the executive committee loyal to the Yadav-Bhattarai faction replacing them with those in his camp.

The EC's order to do the head count of the executive committee members that were there in the committee when the party unified is a blow to the Thakur-Mahato faction, said the Yadav-Bhattarai faction's lawyer Senior Advocate Mithilesh Kumar Singh.

The EC passed the order after conducting a hearing where senior advocates Singh, Harihar Dahal and Raman Kumar Shrestha and Advocate Sunil Pokharel pleaded on behalf of the Yadav-Bhattarai faction.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.