Three ministers of Lumbini Province were expelled from the Provincial Assembly today. Santosh Kumar Pandeya, Bijaya Bahadur Yadav and Kalpana Pandeya were expelled from PA by the Lumbini Provincial Assembly secretariat upon the recommendation of the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal.

A notice undersigned by PA secretariat secretary Durlav Kumar Pun towards this effect has been pasted on PA notice board at the instruction of the speaker given the fact that PA meeting is out of commission at present. Pandey duo and Yadav, who had opted to support Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel by going against the party's directive and decision are in important ministerial posts. While Santosh Kumar Pandey is Physical Infrastructure Development minister, Yadav is Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives minister and Kalpana Pandey Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment minister.

The PA members were supporting the Mahantha Thakur faction of JSP-N, and after the Upendra Yadav faction was granted official recognition of the party by the Election Commission, the party had decided to take action against the three PA members as per the party statute and written to the Provincial Assembly to remove them from PA membership.

Meanwhile, newly appointed province Chief Amik Sherchan held office formally today. On the occasion, he conveyed his support for the Kaligandaki-Tinau Diversion Project and said he would take initiatives to further the project by sorting out the dispute over the same project with Gandaki Province.

In case of the project, the Supreme Court has issued an interim order and stayed its work citing various reasons such as adverse effects on environment and biodiversity.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 31 2021, of The Himalayan Times.