LSP in crisis as Thakur, Mahato stick to their guns

Kiran Poudel 12 Dec 2023
LSP in crisis as Thakur, Mahato stick to their guns

KATHMANDU: All is not well in the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party (LSP). The internal dispute within the party came to light after senior party leaders Rajendra Mahato and Anil Kumar Jha boycotted the executive committee meeting called by Executive Chairman Mahantha Thakur.

Although the meeting was scheduled to continue for two days, it ended on the first day, Sunday, itself as a result of the boycott.

Mahato and Jha boycotted the meeting, expressing strong opposition against the party leadership. Although some leaders raised demands presented by the two leaders in the executive meeting, Executive Chairman Thakur maintained silence.

“The meeting didn’t hold much discussion in the absence of leaders. It was decided to convene the next meeting immediately,” central secretary of LSP Manish Mishra told Himal Press. “We will address the issues raised by the two leaders in the next meeting.”

Nine agendas, including the registration of the party for the National Assembly election, were set for the meeting.

“We need the minutes of the decision for the registration of the party for the National Assembly election. We have completed this process,” Mishra added.

The Mahato faction of the party is dissatisfied with the leadership after it removed leaders close to him from the executive committee. “The leadership is including leaders that were previously with Nepali Congress. Where is the space for leaders who have fought for the cause of Madhesh?” Mahato questioned.

Mahato accused the leadership of removing 30 executive members close to him without any prior information. He maintained that he had expressed his displeasure with the party leadership. “But the leadership didn’t take any decision,” he said.

Mahato’s decision to boycott the party meeting and the leadership’s indifference to Mahato’s decision show that the party is in crisis.

Mishra, however, said there is no alternative to consensus. “We will fall into an even bigger crisis if consensus eludes the party,” he said.

What Mahato wants?

While Mahato is talking about 30 executive members removed by the leadership, leaders close to party president Thakur said Mahato is simply bargaining for the National Assembly election and staking a claim for the post of executive chairman.

Thakur has told party leaders that the ruling coalition has promised one seat for the party in the National Assembly election. Although the party hasn’t decided its candidate, it is certain that the party will field a leader close to Executive Chairman Thakur.

LSP hasn’t held its general convention yet. Given the ongoing differences among leaders, it is unlikely to hold a general convention anytime soon.

The establishment faction of the party is in favor of holding a statute convention before the general convention. The next executive committee is likely to fix the date for the statute convention. That is why Mahato is putting pressure on Thakur to step down before the general convention, a leader close to the establishment faction said.

Published On: 12 Dec 2023


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