KATHMANDU, January 12: Bibeksheel Sajha Party Nepal (BSPN) central committee members have filed an application at the Election Commission (EC) to register as a new party named Bibeksheel Nepali Dal (BND).
Of the 35 central committee members, 16 including coordinator of the party Ujjwal Thapa reached the election body to register the application. The move comes amid deepening differences between the two co-conveners, Rabindra Mishra and Thapa.
Central Committee Members Ranju Darshana, Milan Pandey, Biraj Bhakta Shrestha (member of parliament in Province 3), Ramesh Poudel (another member of parliament in Province 3), Subuna Basnet and Anusha Thapa were among those who reached the EC.
Bibeksheel Sajha Party Nepal was formed last year ahead of crucial elections through a merger between Bibeksheel Nepali Dal led by Thapa and Sajha Party led by Rabindra Mishra.
The new party had picked its top leadership through consensus and was planning to expand its organizational structure around the country.
The latest development came after feuding within the amalgamated party escalated, with the two major factions at loggerheads over several issues, including the party's future course of action and the performance of the existing leadership.
Ahead of the party's central committee meeting slated for January 14, central committee members were divided into the two camps led by Mishra and Thapa respectively. According to party leaders, Mishra was unhappy with a recent report circulated by Thapa to all party leaders including central committee memebrs. In his report, Thapa argued that the path chosen by the party a year after the general elections was wrong.
Issuing a press statement, BSPN Spokesperson Dr Surya Raj Acharya said they were surprised to learn that some of their colleagues had reached the EC to register a new party. While urging disgruntled leaders to resolve their issues within the party through discussions at the upcoming central committee meeting, he said the move to register a new party had dashed the hopes of millions of Nepalis.
Spokesperson Acharya has also urged the dissenting leaders to take differences within the party as a natural process. He argued that the journey ahead will become easy and smooth once the differences are resolved amicably through discussions within the party.
The Thapa-led faction has expressed displeasure over what they say is Mishra's monopoly within the party. "Mishra and like-minded leaders are exercising the power and not giving proper responsibilities to those leaders who came from the previous Sajha Party. This means the Mishra camp is centralizing the power in their hands. Internal democracy has been weakened," said a party leader close to Thapa.
Amid a deepening dispute, coordinator Mishra floated the idea of inducting six new central committee members and dissolving all existing departments of the party. However, the idea did not go down with the Thapa faction, according to party insiders. A majority of the central committee members in the Thapa faction had argued that the party's review report circulated by Thapa should become the main agenda of discussion during the upcoming central committee meeting.
The leaders of the two factions had been at odd over the past few months over the future course of action.
"The party should not run like other traditional political parties. It should rise above petty politics," Central Committee Member Milan Pandey told Republica. Some central committee members have also raised questions over the working culture and performance of the two coordinators in the past one year, according to sources.