KATHMANDU, May 23: The long-running rift in the Madhesi People´s Rights Forum (MPRF), the second largest Madhesi party, has ultimately led party Chairman Upendra Yadav and Co-chairman JP Gupta to part ways.
In a surprising move, Co-chairman Gupta on Monday defected along with 13 CA members from MPRF to register a new party at the parliament secretariat. The new party has been named MPRF (Republic) and Gupta is its chairman.
´´I am very sad to be making this move. I am spliting the party out of compulsion´´, Gupta told reporters at his residence at Sinamanagal after registering the new party on Monday morning.
Accusing Yadav of running the party as a monopoly, Gupta further added, "Upendraji [MPRF chairman] could not accommodate all in the party."
Gupta, who was in the Nepali Congress before joining MPRF in 2007, represented the "democratic" line in the party while party Chairman Yadav was in the Maoist party before establishing MPRF.
Lately, Yadav and Gupta had held opposing views in regard to the party´s decision to join the present coalition. Gupta had maintained that MPRF should not join the present left government as doing so would mean accepting the Maoist agenda. As Gupta was in a minority, Yadav decided to join the government as deputy prime minister and foreign minister.
"This is a part of the conspiracy hatched to foil the government move to get the CA term extended, and to derail the peace process and federalization of the country" Yadav told Republica, commenting on the split in the party. "There was no conflict either in the party or the parliamentary party. This development unfolded overnight."
Yadav indirectly blamed "outside forces" for the split in the party.
"Millions of rupees have been spent to split the party. Money from within the country would not have been sufficient to split the party," Yadav added.
This is the fourth split in the NGO-turned Madhesi party that launched the Madhesi movement in 2007 and was an important faction in the Madhesi front that launched the second Madhesi movement in 2008. The party was formed in 2007.
Madhes-based political analyst and journalist Chandra Kishor Jha said that differences over principle among leaders of the Madhesi party should be blamed for the split.
"The polarization in national politics between left and democratic parties has also surfaced in the MPRF. Consequently, the party has split," said Jha commenting on the one-after-another split in the MPRF.
´´This is also a manifestation of disagreement over extension of the CA term through majority vote´´, Jha added.
Once the largest Madhesi party, MPRF has now become third largest Madhesi party, with the new party as second largest.
´´Yadav did not learn any lessons from the previous three splits in the party´´, said Gupta, ´´The district leaderships were asking me to take suitable steps to safeguard the party. So, I defected from the party.´´
Lawmakers Nandan Kumar Dutta, Atmaram Sah, Chandrika Yadav, Rajlal Yadav, Om Prakash Yadav, Raj Kishor Yadav, Surita Kumari Sah, Sandhya Devi, Salma Khatum Mikrani, Bishwanath Prasad Yadav, Aqbal Ahmed Shah and Sabita Yadav have also rallied behind Gupta.
However, Yadav claimed that those who were said to have rallied behind Gupta are still with him.
MPRF splits timeline
MPRF registered as NGO in 1997
MPRF registered as party in 2007
First split in 2007 (Bhagyanath Gupta defected to form another MPRF)
Second split in 2009 (Ammar Yadav defected to form Madhesh Tarai Forum)
Third split in 2009 (Bijaya Gachchhadar forms MPRF (D)
Fourth split in 2011 (JP Gupta defects to form MPRF (Republic)