KATHMANDU, April 30: Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) is on the verge of split over disputes among top leaders regarding taking action against four lawmakers, who decided to be part of the CPN-UML-led cabinet in Lumbini Province, against the party’s official decision.
While senior leaders Upendra Yadav and Dr Baburam Bhattarai have stood in favor of taking action against the four lawmakers, Mahanta Thakur and Rajendra Mahato have maintained that they should not take action.
The intraparty dispute reached its peak when the party’s top leaders Upendra Yadav and Dr Baburam Bhattarai took a decision to sack them from the post of lawmaker through the party’s Executive Committee meeting attended by its majority members. The lawmakers have already been relieved from the posts as per the letter sent by the Yadav-Bhattarai-led faction of the party.
However, Thakur and Mahato have opposed the decision, saying that the decision was not official. On Friday, Thakur wrote a letter to the Election Commission (EC) and Lumbini Provincial Assembly, informing them that the party had not taken any decision to sack them from the post of the lawmaker.
Mohammad Istiyak Rai, a federal parliament lawmaker close to Upendra Yadav, said the four Lumbini Provincial Assembly members were relieved from the posts of lawmakers through a meeting of the party’s Executive Committee attended by majority members. However, the Thakur and Mahato-led faction has sent separate letters to the EC and Lumbini Provincial Assembly stating that the party had not taken any action against the provincial assembly members.
Dr Surendra Jha, a leader close to the Thakur-Mahato-led faction, said the action taken by the rival faction in the party was not an official one. “The decision is not official. We have already written to the Election Commission and Lumbini Province Assembly in this regard,” said Jha.
Four Lumbini Province Assembly members of the party - Santosh Kumar Pandey, Bijaya Bahadur Yadav, Suman Sharma Rayamajhi, and Kalpana Pandey - had earlier taken the oath of office and Secrecy as ministers in the Shankar Pokharel-led cabinet against the party’s official decision.
JSP insiders say the dispute over whether to take action against the four lawmakers flouting the party’s decision had pushed the party to the verge of a split. These two factions are also divided on whether to support the KP Oli-led government. While Thakur and Mahato are keen to join the Oli-led government, Yadav and Dr Bhattarai have maintained that the party should forge an alliance with other parties to oust Oli from power.