Kathmandu, June 14

The Upendra Yadav-Baburam Bhattarai faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal has taken exception to the Election Commission's decision not to validate action against leaders of the rival faction and has accused the poll panel of bias.

Recently, the co-chairpersons of the party, Upendra Yadav and Mahantha Thakur, expelled each other from the party for anti-party activities.

Yadav also expelled Rajendra Mahato, Laxman Lal Karna, and Sarvendranath Shukla from JSP-N.

A member of the dissolved House of Representatives, Ram Sahay Yadav, who is close to Upendra Yadav, said the faction had a majority in the party's executive committee and his faction had taken punitive action against the rival faction leaders with the support of majority members of the executive committee, yet the Election Commission did not validate his faction's decision.

"The EC's decision not to validate decisions of the majority members of the executive committee raises questions on the EC's impartiality, fairness, and credibility. The EC appears to be promoting anarchy and factionalism in political parties,"

Ram Sahay Yadav said, adding that his faction had submitted all the documents sought by the EC.

"EC office bearers told us that we had submitted all our documents and that we had followed the due process, yet the EC did not validate our actions," he said. He said his party could seek legal remedies against EC decisions.

Yadav said the EC's unfair decision raises doubts on its ability to hold elections in a free and fair manner.

Meanwhile, the Yadav-Bhattarai faction has sought explanation from nine out of 11 ministers representing the Thakur-Mahato faction of the JSP-N for participating in the KP Sharma Oli-led government.

Senior Advocate Mithilesh Kumar Singh, who is the chief of JSP-N's law department, told THT that the party had asked the nine ministers - Rajkishor Yadav, Sharat Singh Bhandari, Ekbal Miya, Umashankar Argariya, Bimal Prasad Srivastav, Anil Kumar Jha, Chanda Chaudhary, Chandra Kanta Chaudhary and Renuka Gurung - to furnish their replies within seven days explaining why they should not be expelled from the party for joining the Oli government.

Singh said two members of the Cabinet - Mahato and Karna - have already been removed from the party. He said the party would remove others also if their reply was found to be unsatisfactory. Singh said no action was taken against the nine ministers as the party believed that they would join to the Yadav-Bhattarai faction. In the dissolved HoR, 20 JSP-N lawmakers had supported Oli, whereas 12 lawmakers had supported Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba's bid for prime ministership.

Yesterday, the Election Commission refused to validate the action of the JSP-N's rival factions, saying their argument of having invoked Section 51 of the Political Party Act was wrong.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.