Pressure builds on Janata Samajbadi to change its set of ministersThe party is sharply divided with Bhattarai faction warning chair Yadav against any unilateral decision.
The Janata Samajbadi Party is preparing to change its ministers in the Sher Bahadur Deuba government.
Lawmakers aspiring to become ministers had started building pressure on party chair Upendra Yadav to recall the current ministers and send new names.
The party chair on Monday also organised an informal meeting of the available members of the central executive committee.
“The informal meeting of the party’s central executive committee has entrusted the party chairman to decide on changing the ministers,” said Pramod Sah, a lawmaker of the Janata Samajbadi. “Chairman Yadav will take a necessary decision soon.”
Leaders like Baburam Bhattarai and Ashok Rai, however, have been demanding a formal meeting of the party’s central executive committee to take a decision on changing the ministers.
Both Bhattarai and Rai were not present in Monday’s meeting.
“Yesterday’s meeting was an informal one so most of the leaders were not present. We have been asking the party chair to call a formal meeting of the central executive committee,” said Rai, a senior leader of the party. “Probably we will take a decision to change our ministers within a day or two.”
The Janata Samajbadi is considering changing its ministers after the CPN (Unified Socialist) did so on Sunday following weeks of infighting.
The party has four ministers in the Deuba Cabinet—Mahendra Rai Yadav as agriculture minister, Renu Kumari Yadav as physical infrastructure and transport minister, Rajendra Shrestha as federal affairs and general administration minister and Ramsahay Prasad Yadav as forest and environment minister.
“We are waiting for the party’s decision to change the existing ministers,” said Pradip Yadav, a lawmaker who is also an aspirant for the ministerial berth. “Since the chairman had promised us that the existing ministers were sent only for six months, now it's our turn.”
Changing ministers, however, won’t be easy as the Janata Samajbadi is sharply divided with the Bhattarai faction upping the ante against Yadav.
Leaders close to Bhattarai are preparing to split the party but are waiting for the party chair Yadav to decide on the change in ministers. They have warned Yadav against changing ministers unilaterally.
“We are not in a situation to remain with Yadav anymore but we are waiting for him to make a decision on changing party’s ministers,” said a central executive committee member. “Let’s see. There could be some development on changing ministers within a few days.”
According to a member of the central executive committee Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav, who is also a National Assembly member, majority of the central executive committee members have asked the chairman in writing to change the existing set of ministers as per his promise made while sending the existing four ministers to the Cabinet.
“The chairman has promised us to make changes at the earliest as he had told us earlier that eight lawmakers could be incorporated as ministers,” he told the Post. “But he has not set any timeframe.”
He said among the 33-strong central executive committee, 20 were present during Monday’s meeting.
JSP has 19 lawmakers in the lower house while three members in the National Assembly.