The Thakur-Mahato faction of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) is preparing to join government pointing that many of its demands have been met while the rest are in process of being fulfilled.
An executive committee member of JSP told Setopati that the environment to join the government has just been prepared even as Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli has long been urging the faction to join his government. "Our discussion will now focus on joining. Oli has asked us to send ministers for the seven ministries that are vacant. Discussion on this now will be likely in a serious manner," the leader from the faction stated.
The seven ministries are vacant after the Supreme Court (SC) revoked reappointment of seven ministers who are not federal lawmakers ruling that Article 78 of the Constitution allows appointment of non-lawmakers as ministers only once. Oli has kept those ministries with himself after that.
Appointing seven ministers from JSP will take the total strength of Cabinet to the limit of 25 set by the Constitution. But the Thakur-Mahato faction has been demanding eight ministers and two state ministers saying many lawmakers aspire to become ministers and even those who quit the Yadav-Bhattarai faction need to be placated.
Another leader close to the Thakur-Mahato faction Surendra Jha also confirmed that there is no dispute in the faction about joining the government as the government has addressed its demands in a positive manner.
The Yadav-Bhattarai faction, that has clear majority in the executive committee, has already warned that any leader joining the government will b expelled from the party.
The executive committee meeting has also decided to seek explanation from four leaders including Chairman Mahantha Thakur and Rajendra Mahato. The meeting of the majority of executive committee members, but not attended by the Thakur-Mahato faction, on Saturday decided to seek explanation from the four leaders and also investigate those supporting what the party calls regressive step of Oli.
The meeting decided to seek explanation from Thakur for writing to President Bidya Devi Bhandari claiming that the party supported Oli in formation of new government, Mahato for sending the letter to the President's Office claiming that he is the JSP parliamentary party leader when the statute of parliamentary party has not even been drafted, and Laxman Lal Karna and Sarbendra Nath Shukla for staying in the five-strong task force for Constitution amendment including three CPN-UML leaders and holding dialogue without the party's decision.