Bibeksheel Sajha Party in turmoil as central committee mulls firing both Thapa and Mishra

Published On: January 10, 2019 07:18 PM NPT By: Santosh Ghimire

KATHMANDU, January 10: Bibeksheel Sajha Party’s intra-party feud is likely to further escalate as the two major factions are at loggerheads over several issues, including the party's future course of action and performance of the existing leadership, party insiders said on Thursday. 

Ahead of the party's Central Committee Meeting slated for January 14, the Central Committee members seem to be divided into two camps led by Rabindra Mishra and Ujjwal Thapa respectively. According to party leaders, BSP Coordinator Mishra is unhappy with a recent report circulated by another coordinator Thapa to all party leaders including CCMs. In his report,Thapa argued that the path chosen by the party a year after the general elections is wrong.

On the other hand, the Thapa-led faction has expressed displeasure over the Mishra's monopoly within the party. "Mishra and his like-minded leaders are exercising power while not giving proper responsibilities to those leaders who came from the previous Bibeksheel party. This means Mishra camp is centralizing power in the party at present. The internal democracy has been weakened," a leader of the party who is close to Thapa, told Republica Online. Amid dispute, Party Coordinator Mishra floated the idea of inducting six new central committee members and dissolving all existing departments of the party.

However, the idea has not gone so well with the Thapa faction, according to party sources. A majority of the CCMs within the Thapa faction are of the view that the party's review report circulated by Coordinator Thapa should become the prime focus of the discussion during the upcoming CC meeting.

Mishra faction has been saying that the party should not focus on criticizing the government cheaply. The Mishra faction believes that the party should show its strong presence in national debates over the crucial political issues rather than running small public awareness campaigns against the government's wrong moves.

"We are not working as a civil society campaigner but we are now a political party. But, there is still confusion among the party workers whether we are political party or an entity of the civil society?" a leader of the Mishra faction said.

There are numerous intra-party disputes regarding the future course of action of the party. "The party should not run like other traditional political forces. It should rise above the petty politics," Central Committee Member Milan Pandey told Republica Online. Some of the Central Committee Members have also raised question over the working culture and performance of the duo coordinators in the past one year, according to sources. "There are debates inside the party workers that the two coordinators may also be forced to step down if they can't chalk out the party's clear course of action. It depends on how the two coordinators work in coming days," a central committee member said.

Central Committee Members have also raised questions over multiple responsibilities given to some leaders in the party like Mumaram Khanal and Surya Raj Acharya. Sources said that another reason of the intra-party dispute is personality clash between coordinators Mishra and Thapa. "Some leaders have multiple responsibilities and some have not been given any roles. This should be managed appropriately by the party leadership. Otherwise, the party leadership should resign immediately," another member of the party said.

However, Party Spokesperson Surya Raj Acharya said that there are no such serious disputes inside the party as reported in media. "It is true that there are some disputes regarding the future course of action of the party. We hope to sort out disputes through the upcoming meeting," Acharya said.

The Mishra camp is taking strong objection to the recent report of Coordinator Thapa that has stated that the party has become hostage to narrow policies and decisions. "Many energetic and young members and well-wishers have become totally disappointed and lost their vigor," the report said while lamenting the leadership's inability to accommodate the concerns of the young leaders in the party.

Thapa has also said that the party has been failing to expand its membership across the country.

The Bibeksheel Sajha Party was formed after the merger between Bibeksheel Nepali led by Ujjwal Thapa and Sajha Party by Rabindra Mishra last year ahead of crucial elections. The party had picked its top leadership based on consensus and now planning to expand its organizational structure around the country.

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