Will sacked minister Sodari retain PA membership?

Dhangadi, November 14

After Nepal Communist Party (NCP) expelled sacked provincial minister Dirgha Sodari from the party’s general membership, the same has now kicked up a debate as to what will happen to his Provincial Assembly membership.

Some legal eagles have argued that the sacked minister relieved of party membership will still retain the PA membership as he was elected by the people. “Now that he’s expelled from the party, he will now onwards remain an independent PA member,” said legal practitioner Dandiraj Ojha.

Far-west Province Chief Attorney Kulanand Upadhyaya, on his part, said that nothing could be said until the official document corroborating action against Sodari was presented at the Provincial Parliament. “As to whether his PA membership will remain, it will be as per the law,” he said.

Upon being relieved of the ministerial portfolio for acting against the moral obligation of his post, Sodari was expelled from the party this evening. Now he does not even have general membership of the party in the NCP Far-west Province Committee.

The province has already appointed another NCP leader Krishnaraj Subedi in Sodari’s place. Subedi, an NCP leader, had won in the provincial polls from Kailali Constituency No 4, the same constituency as that of the sacked minster.

NCP Far-west Province Committee Chairperson Karna Thapa attributed Sodari’s dismissal from ministerial berth to his acts not befitting his post. “Apart from the issue of an accident involving his official vehicle, there are other issues as well leading to his dismissal,” said Thapa, who, however, stopped short of revealing the other reasons. Although Sodari was sacked by the chief minister and  his general membership was terminated by his party, he will continue to  serve as a Provincial Assembly member.

According to Thapa, Sodari will remain a PA member. “The party cannot remove him from the Provincial Assembly because no charge against him has been proved by a court of law. We have removed him from the party committee,” Thapa told THT.

As  per provincial Assembly member Act, a member loses his membership only  in three cases — if s/he resigns from his/her post, if s/he dies or if  s/he is convicted of serious offences by the last tier of the court.

Sodari told THT  that NCP told him that he could continue working as PA member.“I will respect the party’s decision,” he added. Sodari also said he was unaware why he was relieved from his ministerial post. “I’ve left the post because of the party’s order, that’s all,” said the sacked minister, who, however, disavowed any knowledge that he had been expelled from the party as well.