RJP-N conflict deepens after Mahato takes chargeWith an abrupt change of guard, the feud in the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal has festered so much that it has started affecting the party’s activities.
With an abrupt change of guard, the feud in the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal has festered so much that it has started affecting the party’s activities.
Mahantha Thakur, former coordinator of the party presidium, refused to attend a meeting called by the new coordinator, Rajendra Mahato, on Friday. The meeting was cancelled as Thakur refused to attend it.
Leaders close to Thakur object to “violation” of the party statute, which says that all decisions of the party’s six-member presidium should be unanimous. They have seriously objected to Mahato’s appointment as the coordinator arguing that there was no consensus on it.
The November 20 meeting of the presidium decided to rotate the coordinator’s role with a majority vote of four leaders—Mahato, Sharat Singh Bhandari, Mahendra Yadav and Rajkishor Yadav.
Ever since six fringe Madhes-based parties merged to form the RJP-N in July last year, Thakur had been leading the presidium. Leaders close to Thakur and Anil Jha have expressed reservations over Mahato’s election citing the lack of unanimity.
The RJP-N charter stipulates that the presidium of six chairpersons of the former parties would take turns to coordinate the apex body every two months. However, citing the towering personality of Thakur, they unanimously decided to continue with his leadership which was also endorsed by the latest meeting of the party’s political committee.
Leaders close to Thakur said the abrupt decision to change the coordinator had come out of the blue. “We believe that a section of the leaders including Mahato wanted to join the KP Oli government instead of Thakur’s position against it,” said a leader close to Thakur. The new coordinator has clarified that his party would not join the government.
According to Surendra Jha, joint general secretary of the party, they have given the four top leaders one week to correct the new decisions.
However, other leaders who were in favour of rotating the coordinator have claimed that Thakur, during the informal meeting on Friday, told the leaders that there was no conflict as he had “accepted” the change. As internal conflict deepens, Mahato has been trying to pacify Thakur by declaring him a Sarbamanya Neta—a towering leader acceptable to all. “Coordinator Mahato has already said at a public function that Thakur was such leader who is acceptable to them all,” said General Secretary Keshav Jha.
Disgruntled RJP-N leaders have demanded annulment of all the appointments made after the party was registered at the Election Commission. Leaders close to Anil Jha are for taking action against Mahendra Raya Yadav—one of the leaders in the presidium. According to Surendra Jha, Yadav made inappropriate comments against Thakur. “Either Mahendra Yadav should apologise for his indecent remarks or the party leadership must take stern action against him,” said Jha, who is close to Thakur.
Asked about a possible solution, Joint General Secretary Jha said Thakur would call a meeting of the party’s political committee or the office bearers after he returns from India if the decisions were not corrected. Thakur will leave for Delhi on Sunday for health check-up.