All is not well between Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (LSP) with Senior Leader Rajendra Mahato accusing Chairman Mahantha Thakur of operating the party unilaterally.
LSP has a 31-strong executive committee with Mahato and Sharat Singh Bhandari as senior leaders.
"Executive meeting has not been held since the party was recognized by the Election Commission on August 25 (2021). Party chairman is taking arbitrary decisions and has not delegated responsibilities to anyone (at the center)," a leader close to Mahato told Setopati. "Chairman and Mahato have not met for almost one and a half months. Mahato has even stopped coming to the party office in recent times."
The Thakur faction, on the other hand, accuses Mahato of carrying out parallel activities from the office of Gajendra Narayan Singh Research Center at Anamnagar even as the Mahato faction accuses Thakur of fostering his faction that comes from the then Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP).
Thakur-led TMLP, Mahato-led Sadbhavana Party and a few other parties had allied to form Rastriya Janata Party (RJP) which then unified with Upendra Yadav led Samajwadi Party to form Janata Samajwadi Pary (JSP). The Thakur-Mahato faction then split from JSP and formed LSP owing to differences over whether to support the then KP Sharma Oli government or not.
Party sources claim Bhandari is now allied with Thakur while Anil Jha is with Mahato.
The Mahato faction accuses Thakur of unilaterally picking chairs and observers in 17 districts in the plains and is particularly peeved at Jitendra Sonal being picked Province 2 chair.
"Executive meeting should have been called to take any important decision in the party. But Thakur has not been paying attention to that. We even demonstrated in Kathmandu against that," Raman Pandey, who is close to Mahato, told Setopati. "He gave responsibility to Sonal without holding discussion. He has not taken collective decision in the party. He has handed over responsibilities to only those close to him."
Surendra Jha, who is close to Thakur, claimed that there are no prior-factions in the party. "The executive committee has authorized party chair to work. High command including party chairman and two senior leaders has been formed. All decisions have been taken after discussion among the three. I, therefore, don’t think decisions have been taken unilaterally."