Rift widens as co-chairs seek explanation from each other


Factional feud in the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal has intensified with leaders of both the factions of the party seeking explanation from each other.

JSP-N Co-chair Upendra Yadav has sought explanation from Mahantha Thakur, who is also a co-chair of the party, for supporting Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, 'indulging in factional activities, and writing letters to the president, the Election Commission, and the Parliament Secretariat.

Yadav has also asked Thakur to clarify why he did not attend the party's executive committee meeting held recently.

On the other hand, Thakur has asked Yadav why he had supported the opposition alliance and signed the writ petition demanding reinstatement of the House of Representatives.

Thakur has also asked Yadav why he had taken disciplinary action against Laxman Lal Karna and Sarvendranath Shukla, who were working to get the party's demands addressed in accordance with people's wishes.

Yadav has also sought explanation from Rajendra Mahato for supporting Oli. Karna and Shukla have also been asked to explain why they had backed Oli and accepted Mahato as the JSP- N's parliamentary party leader.

When the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and the Samajbadi Party-Nepal unified last year forming the JSP-N, both the parties had 17 lawmakers in the dissolved HoR. However, when Yadav signed the petition supporting Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba's bid for prime ministership, only 11 JSP-N lawmakers were with him in signing the petition. Twenty lawmakers are with Thakur and Mahato. But in the 51-member executive committee, the Upendra Yadav-Baburam Bhattarai faction has a clear majority, with 30 members supporting the Yadav-Bhattarai faction.

A JSP-N leader from the Thakur-Mahato faction said there was slim chance of reconciliation between the two factions, as the two co-chairpersons were hell bent on taking disciplinary action against each other.

The leader said it was Yadav who started the current controversy by removing four lawmakers of Lumbini from the Provincial Assembly for supporting Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel.

"How can the party avert split when co-chairpersons seek explanation from each other?" the leader wondered.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.