NSP (A) legitimacy row resurfaces

Kathmandu, August 4:

The almost-forgotten legitimacy row in the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (A) resurfaced today, with rival factions claiming that theirs is the legitimate NSP (A).

Party leaders Shyam Sunder Gupta, Sarita Giri and Khushi Lal Mandal made the legitimacy claims.

Party leader Sarita Giri claimed Anandidevi was still the party chairperson and she had reshuffled the party designating herself as the general secretary. She said that Anandidevi’s nephew Yashvant Singh and other leaders Kasim Ali Siddiqui, Urmila Pandey, Ram Baran Yadav and Bikas Tiwari were named joint general secretaries in the 27-member central body of the party.

Meanwhile, the Gupta faction claimed that Anandidevi was no longer the party chairperson as a central committee meeting held here today made Gupta the new acting chair of the party. Mukti Nath Mandal of the Gupta faction issued a press release acknowledging that Gupta was named acting chair of the party due to Anandidevi’s mental illness.

The press release claimed that office-bearers of the party would be considered unfit for the job as per Article 5-1 (A) 1 of the party statute if they are unable to perform their task due to mental illness. In such a case, their positions are considered vacant as per 6.8 (S) of the party statute. Contrary to the claim of the Gupta faction, Sarita Giri said party chair was medically fit and was staying at her house in Rajbiraj.

She termed Gupta factions’ action of naming Gupta the acting president illegal. She said once the row was over, the party would appoint vice-presidents. Giri claimed the party can replace its chief if the latter dies or resigns.

“We have not appointed vice-presidents as per the will of Anandidevi’s family, who claimed that both vice-presidents had kept the president in confinement,” Giri said.

Khushi Lal Mandal, who was the vice-president before the reshuffle, said Sarita Giri did not have the authority to act on behalf of the party. He added that the party was about to initiate disciplinary action against Giri as she had gone against the party policy during the presidential election.

“It seems both of them (Gupta and Giri) are playing fraudulent games. Only Anandidevi can make things clear by appearing in public,” Mandal said, adding that reshuffles were against the party statute because the party had initiated a process to hold its general convention. Article 16 (6) of the party statute prohibits reshuffling if preparations are underway to hold the general convention.

Party chairperson Anandidevi could not be contacted for comment.