Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) Chairman Mahatntha Thakur has staked claim for official recognition with the Election Commission calling himself the first chairman.
The letter sent to the Election Commission by Thakur on Tuesday has also massively reshuffled the 51-strong executive committee formed after unification of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP).
He has unilaterally removed 20 members from the Yadav-Bhattarai faction and replaced them with leaders close to him. The newly inducted members include 14 coming from the erstwhile FSFN and six from RJP.
The Thakur-Mahato faction claims that the executive committee meeting on December 22, 2020 has granted Thakur the authority to make changes in and reshuffle the executive committee in capacity of the first chairman. The faction has also submitted copy of the decision taken by the meeting that day.
Thakur then called meetings of the reshuffled executive committee and endorsed parliamentary party statute and elected Rajendra Mahato as parliamentary party leader. The reshuffled executive committee also decided to support Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli. The Thakur-Mahato faction has support of 20 out of the 32 JSP lawmakers in the dissolved House.
The Yadav-Bhattarai faction, meanwhile, has accused the other faction of forgery. "Our party has not taken any decision to recognize Thakur as the first chairman and grant him the authority to reshuffle executive committee," executive member Ramsahay Prasad Yadav told Setopati.
"Anyone can say that there is no truth after having a look at their documents," another executive member Mohammad Ishtiyaq Rayi claimed. "They have falsely claimed that the decision was taken. Nothing will happen with such fake details. The minute of the decision has been erased and document has been created in a way they want."
The warring factions of JSP have expelled each other as the internal dispute escalated in recent weeks. The Yadav-Bhattarai faction has clear majority in the 51-strong executive formed after unification of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal and has already expelled five leaders from the Thakur-Mahato faction including Chairman Mahntha Thakur and Rajendra Mahato. The Thakur-Mahato faction in turn has expelled Yadav.
Both the sides wrote to the Election Commission informing about expulsion of the leaders of the other faction but the Election Commission has decided to not officially recognize action by both the factions. The Election Commission said the previously submitted details about party office-bearers will remain official as per Clause 25(6) of the regulation related to political parties.
JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav again staked claim for official recognition with the Election Commission on Friday. Yadav and other JSP leaders reached the the Election Commission on Friday with the decision of the meeting of the majority of party's executive committee on Thursday to stake claim for recognition.
It now turns out that Thakur had written to the Election Commission on Tuesday about reshuffle of the executive committee.