We will challenge party split in court: Upendra Yadav [Interview]

Himal Press 09 May 2024
We will challenge party split in court: Upendra Yadav [Interview]

Janata Samajbadi Party, Nepal (JSP Nepal) suffered a split while its chairperson, Upendra Yadav, was in the US to participate in the United Nations Commission on Population and Development. Seven out of 12 lawmakers of the party, led by JSP Nepal Vice Chairperson Ashok Kumar Rai, have registered Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) with the Election Commission (EC). The new party has declared its support for the ruling coalition. Interestingly, Yadav has also expressed his intention to remain in the government. In an interview with Himal Press, Yadav discussed the party split and the future of JSP Nepal. Excerpts:

Your party suffered a split while you were out of the country. How will you make up for this loss?

The ruling parties have unconstitutionally split the party. We will challenge the registration of the new party in court. There is a mentality that people can do anything when in power. If this mentality is not stopped, anything can happen here at any time. Those who engage in such politics will ruin the country.

Will you continue in the government or quit?

The legality of the party split will be determined by the court. Whether we continue in the government depends on the decision of those in power. Although I supported them, they have betrayed me. The situation now depends on how we proceed. JSP Nepal has its own political agenda that needs to be pursued. Some members of the splitting faction are considering returning. We will convene a central committee meeting to decide our next steps.

It seems that the EC also made a mistake here, didn’t it?

Indeed. It is evident that the head of the EC showed favoritism. It appears that the new party was registered without proper legal grounds. According to existing laws, the old law is automatically reinstated if an ordinance intended to replace it is not endorsed by parliament. However, the EC manipulated the law and formalized the party split. This action does not bode well for either the EC or the parties involved. We will seek justice in court as the party has been unconstitutionally divided. This undermines our identity, the issues of Madhesh, and federalism. It seems that no one in politics can be trusted. The party was registered overnight in an illegal manner while the law was still under consideration in parliament. Perhaps, this is the first time in Nepal’s history that a party registration certificate has been issued so quickly.

You are the Deputy Prime Minister in the same cabinet that you allege split your party. How will you continue in the cabinet?

Yes, I supported the Prime Minister, and I am still a Deputy Prime Minister in his cabinet. I am shocked to learn that he split my party based on rumors. When I confronted him about this action in my absence, he admitted that he did it to avert a potential crisis for his government. This revelation hurt me deeply. If coalition partners cannot be trusted, what will become of politics? If political leadership continues in this manner, I doubt this system will survive. It seems that a certain party split JSP Nepal to increase its size by spreading rumors of a new power equation. Their efforts will not succeed.

There were rumors that you wanted to change alliances after Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba offered you the position of Prime Minister. How true is this?

This is an outright lie and fabrication. More than the issue of the party split, the main concern is who can be trusted here. Can the party system function in this manner? When the Prime Minister himself admitted that he split JSP Nepal to protect his government, I was ashamed. In a press conference, I stated that I have not left the government. Since there have been several splits since the party’s formation, I initially took it lightly. However, I am now hurt and wondering whom to trust.

Doesn’t it seem like the CPN-UML orchestrated this to become the largest party?

That is indeed a possibility. CPN-UML Chairperson KP Sharma Oli is skilled in such calculations. What can I say? Ashok Kumar Rai split the party for personal gain, undermining federalism, democracy, the republic, Madhesh and identity issues. This confirms the rumors. He may attempt to attract as many of his supporters as possible. Anything can happen here.

The split has undoubtedly weakened the party. Has it also affected the provinces?

Not likely. Those who split were not deeply entrenched within the organization. They left for positions, not for the organization. We still have the organization intact. So, it will not significantly impact the party. However, it will affect power politics. It may not immediately affect the provinces, but if they begin taking action there, we will remain vigilant and may be compelled to take a different path. We will not allow such a situation to arise.

Published On: 09 May 2024


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