A rift has appeared in the Bibeksheel Sajha Party—formed after the merger of Bibeksheel and Sajha parties, with coordinator Ujwal Thapa reporting that the party was headed in a wrong direction.
The conflict came to the fore after Thapa expressed serious concerns in his assessment of the party’s performance one year after the three-tier elections.
Thapa, however, agreed to take full responsibility for his actions as a top leader. He concluded that the party has suffered from the centralisation of power by a handful of leaders who are reluctant to devolve power to the party members.
Politics of fear rules the party, Thapa said in his report. This was leading to the politics of restriction, as an environment of uncertainty gripped the provinces and district levels, he observed.
In his 23-point explainer, Thapa explicitly outlined internal political issues and questioned if the leadership followed the political ideology that was the basis of the alternative force.
Thapa also expresses concerns that people raised questions over the party’s ideological values including transparency and decentralisation of power.
Thapa charged the party with adopting a top-down approach, going against
its earlier model. After 18 months of merger, he demanded the date for the party’s national convention at the earliest.
Prior to the elections in November 2017, the Thapa-led Bibeksheel Party and the Sajha Party, led by the journalist-turned-politician Rabindra Mishra, had decided to merge.
According to party Spokesperson Ramesh Poudel, Thapa had revealed his personal observations about the party’s performance in the past year. He has incorporated all the feedback he received during his recent three-month long tour from Jhapa to Dhangadhi and suggestions received through social media.
“I don’t think this is a big issue as the party has adopted the policy of participatory democracy,” Poudel said. Thapa has shared his 18-page assessment with all the central members of the party.
All his reflections would be thoroughly discussed in the upcoming central committee meeting.
Another coordinator, Rabindra Mishra, who could be the target of most of Thapa’s charges, was not immediately available for comment.