Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) Chairman Upendra Yadav has claimed that the state and foreign powers came together to win over the party's lawmakers.
In a video interview with Setopati, Yadav hinted that Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli used money and foreign powers to solicit support of the Thakur-Mahato faction of JSP. "The state and foreign powers lobbied for our lawmakers. There was a flood of money," Yadav accused. "Changing camps by a few lawmakers is not surprising when they use the greed of powers and money. That doesn't depict the strength (of a party) which is measured by ideology and people's mandate."
He pointed at the geopolitics in play in Nepal for the past few centuries and claimed that domestic and foreign forces have supported Oli in his regressive and undemocratic step to end the federal democratic republicanism. He alleged that Oli, who has been allergic to Madhes in the past, appointed so many ministers (in the now revoked Cabinet reshuffle) from the plains not due to his affection for JSP Chairman Mahantha Thakur but to destroy the agenda of Madhes.
He added that many lawmakers who joined the Thakur-Mahato faction in greed of money and posts will return back to his faction. "Many friends inside that faction are now crying betrayal after their illusion was shattered. What they may do in the coming days is a different thing but they are clear that they took the wrong path."
He also accused the Thakur-Mahato faction of forgery. The Thakur-Mahato faction has sent a document to the Election claiming that the executive committee meeting on December 22, 2020 granted Thakur the authority to make changes in and reshuffle the executive committee in capacity of the first chairman.
"The document that has come out clearly shows that something has been erased and another thing pasted," Yadav argued. "We have not granted the right to Thakur. Why has Thakur indulged in forgery at the age of 82? Has he lost his political ground so much? His moral grounds so much?"
He stressed that the Thakur-Mahato faction has no ideology. "We believe in socialist democracy. They don't even know what socialism is and what its objectives are. Neither the Madhesi people will be liberated nor the task of nation building will be completed by only shouting slogans about Madhesis and Pahadis (people of hill origin)."
He conceded that the party formed after unification of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal may ultimately split amicably but ruled out such possibility in the near future.
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. Thakur also again staked claim for official recognition with the Election Commission calling himself the first chairman.
The Election Commission, meanwhile, has summoned the two sides for discussion in an effort to resolve the dispute as per the act related to political parties.
The latest letter sent to the Election Commission by Thakur 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.