KATHMANDU, JULY 30
Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal leader Mahantha Thakur, who lost the authenticity battle to party Co-chair Upendra Yadav, today filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court challenging the Election Commission's decision to recognise the Upendra Yadav-Baburam Bhattarai faction as the authentic party.
Thakur urged the court to stay the EC's July 27 decision that recognises the Yadav-Bhattarai faction as the authentic JSP-N.
Thakur said if the EC's decision was not stayed, it would split the party. Thakur's lawyer Senior Advocate Surendra Kumar Mahto told THT that the EC's decision to recognise the Yadav-Bhattarai faction as the authentic party was erroneous, as its application lacked the support of 40 per cent executive committee members.
Mahto said the letter that Yadav submitted to the EC demanding legitimacy contained only his signature.
Thakur urged the court to order the EC to validate his decision to reshuffle the party's executive committee on May 17.
Thakur had replaced 20 members of the executive committee who belonged to the Yadav-Bhattarai faction with his own supporters, claiming that he had been authorised by party leaders to reshuffle the executive committee. The Yadav-Bhattarai faction, however, said they never delegated power to Thakur to revamp the executive committee.
On July 27, 34 out of 51 executive committee members supported the Yadav-Bhattarai faction during a support verification process prompting the EC to recognise the Yadav-Bhattarai faction as the authentic party.
Only 16 executive committee members supported the Thakur-Mahato faction. Lawmaker Resham Chaudhary, who was convicted for Kailali carnage by lower courts, had chosen to remain neutral.
Yadav said recently that leaders of the Thakur-Mahato faction could remain in the party if they apologised for their mistakes.
But leaders of the Thakur-Mahato faction, however, said they had done nothing wrong and would not apologise.
The factional feud in the JSP-N intensified after leaders of the Thakur-Mahato faction supported KP Sharma Oli's bid for prime ministership under Article 76 (5) of the constitution and the Yadav-Bhattarai faction supported Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba's bid for prime ministership under the same article.
Thakur had earlier filed a case seeking an interim order against the EC's decision to do a head count of executive committee members on July 27, but the SC did not issue an interim order in that case.
The apex court had called both sides to present their arguments today. But the EC deemed the Yadav-Bhattarai faction as the authentic JSP-N on July 27.
Today, the SC ordered the court administration to present both cases filed by Thakur for next hearing.
The first hearing of Thakur's petition that he filed today has been scheduled for Sunday. JSP-N Spokesperson Dambar Khatiwada said Thakur was trying to create legal hurdles for the party, but since his case was weak, he wouldn't succeed in his attempt.
"We will defend our arguments when asked by the court to present them," Khatiwada said.
He added that the party had kept the door for leaders of the Thakur-Mahato faction open. He said they only had to admit that they had erred in supporting Oli and his move to dissolve the House of Representatives.
A version of this article appears in the print on July 31 2021, of The Himalayan Times.